The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars project is built to create a energy corridor by rail mainly supplied by Azerbaijan. In addition to that, the current traffic from Turkey to CIS countries will shift to this line. Since current traffic via Iran is facing with long delays in Van Lake and Saraks, opening of this line may cause a shift to railway. The line is expected to have a annual volume of 6,5 million to at the beginning. Target is 17 million to/year in long term.
Kars will play a critical role in this huge freight traffic. Due to operational reasons, most of the cargo is expected to be transshipped to Turkish wagons at Kars. That means a millions of tons of cargo to be handled and stored in Kars. Management of hundreds of CIS and TCDD wagons at the same time will be another issue. Thus, Kars is announced to be one of the 18 logistic centers of TCDD as a part of 2023 targets. It’s already heard that Azerbaijan is planning to build up and operate a logistics center of 30 hectares in Kars. Van and Tatvan, on the other hand, will lose its importance for loads on rail to CIS countries via Iran.