TBILISI, March 26 (Itar-Tass) — Georgia’s railway has joined the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF), a source in the state-run railway operator said on Monday.
The GZD’s accession to the OTIF was initiated by Georgia to carry out rail operations within the framework of the international legal regulation in Western Europe.
“From 2007 Georgia has been constructing the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway that will directly link Georgia’s railway infrastructure with Western Europe, which will create less costly and shorter transport corridor,” the source said.
“This corridor will increase Georgia’s function as an alternative transport corridor between Europe and Asia, which is directly interlinked with higher cargo flows,” the source said.
The project also envisages the development of passenger traffic, which is no less important for raising Georgia’s tourism attractiveness.
The GZD’s membership of the OTIF “will contribute to Georgia’s full-fledged accession to the European railway system.”
The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is expected to be completed by the end of 2012. The first pilot railway voyage to Europe across this route will be made by the end of 2012, while from 2013 cargo and passenger traffic to Europe will become regular.
The railway project has been implemented in compliance with a package of agreements on the railway construction signed by Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey in February 2007.