Transport in Azerbaijan

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Azerbaijan geopolitical map with rail and road network

The transport in Azerbaijan involves air traffic, waterways and railroads. All transportation activities in Azerbaijan except for oil and gas pipelines are regulated by the Ministry of Transportation of Azerbaijan Republic.1

Railways

Azerbaijan Railways map (current)

There are 2,932 km (1,822 mi) of rail tracks out of which only 2,117 km (1,315 mi) are in common carrier service and 810 km (500 mi) are industrial lines.2 240 km (150 mi) of rail tracks were occupied by Armenia between 1988 and 1994 and due to Armenian occupation, the railway link between Nakhichevan and Azerbaijan proper has been broken since 1991.

Of the 2,932 km (1,822 mi) of rail tracks, 72% or 2,117 km (1,315 mi) are single track and 28% or 815 km (506 mi) are double track.2

Of the total exploitation length of route 43% or 1,272 km (790 mi) are electrified at 3 kV (3,000 V) DC.2

About 38% of the length of the railway routes or 1,126 km (700 mi) are equipped with full automatic blocks and 16% or 479 km (298 mi) are equipped with centralized dispatchers.2

The railways has 176 stations, 2 of which, Bilajari and Shirvan are completely automated, 12 stations have container courts with adapted mechanisms and machines, 3 stations – Keşlə, Ganja and Khirdalan are able to supply high cargo containers.

In freight traffic, the exportation of oil from the oil wells from Baku at the Caspian Sea to the Georgian port of Batumi at the Black Sea, forms an important share of the rail transport in Azerbaijan. The freight market share of the Azerbaijan State Railway was 21% in 1999. The freight market share of the railways are also expected to rise rapidly with completion of the Kars–Tbilisi–Baku railway. Much of the rail track and rolling stock is in need of repair or replacement.

The national network has no high-speed lines and is not served by high-speed trains.


Total: 2,932 km (1,822 mi) (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 57
Broad gauge: 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 2732 in) gauge

Railway links with adjacent countries

  • Russia Russia - yes - 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 2732 in) gauge.
  • Georgia (country) Georgia - yes - 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 2732 in) gauge - also new 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge link to Turkey (under construction - due to be completed in 2014).
  • Iran Iran - yes - break-of-gauge 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 2732 in) - 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) (Only from Nakhichevan, planned link to Azerbaijan proper for building Russia-Iran corridor).
  • Turkey Turkey - no - break-of-gauge 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 2732 in) - also new 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge via Georgia (under construction - due to be completed in 2014).
  • Armenia Armenia - yes - 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 2732 in) gauge - closed for political reasons.

Kars-Tbilisi-Baku Railway Project Timeline

2007

  • On February 7, 2007 an agreement was signed for the Kars-Tbilisi-Baku railway.
  • On September 12, 2007, Musa Panahov, the Deputy Minister of Transport of Azerbaijan, announces that construction on the Baku-Tiblisi-Kars railway will begin in October. Construction is budgeted at $200 million, of which $50 million has been allocated from the State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ).3
  • On November 21, 2007, the presidents of Azerbaijan - Ilham Aliyev, Georgia - Mikheil Saakashvili, and Turkey - Abdullah Gül inaugurated the construction of the railroad at a groundbreaking ceremony at the Marabda junction south of Tbilisi,4 and the first rails were planned to be laid in April 2008.5

2008

The Russian-Georgian-Ossetian conflict (2008 South Ossetia war) and environmental problems delayed the project, which was originally to be completed by 2010 but is now scheduled for completion by 2012.6

Metro System

City with metro system: Baku Metro in Baku

Roadways

The international border crossing between Azerbaijan and Georgia at Balakan

There are about 25,000 kilometers of roads in Azerbaijan, serving domestic cargo traffic and giving access to international main highways. Highways are mostly in fair condition and need an upgrade to international standards in a view to accommodate growing transit traffic. Main and rural roads are in poor condition and in urgent need of rehabilitation and maintenance. The total vehicle fleet in Azerbaijan was about 517,000 in 2004, with about 49 private passenger cars per 1,000 inhabitants, which is quite low compared to European benchmarks but rapidly increasing due to the fast economic growth. Road transport accounted for 54% of all freight in 2003, up from about 48% in 1999.

Main highways carrying international traffic are the Baku-Alat-Ganja-Qazakh-Georgian Border corridor (Azerbaijani section of TRACECA corridor) with a length of 503 km and the so-called North-South Corridor that stretches out from the Russian to the Iranian border along 521 km. Road connections are disrupted with Armenia because of the unresolved conflict regarding the possession of the Nagorno-Karabakh. Travel between mainland and the detached exclave of Nakhichevan is made by air or by road through Iran. Nakhichevan has a 9-kilometre strategic border with Turkey.


Total: 59,141 km
Country comparison to the world: 75
Paved: 29,210 km
Unpaved: 29,931 km (2004)

Pipelines

Baku is the centre of a major oil- and gas-producing region, and major long-distance pipelines radiate from the region's oil fields to all neighboring areas. Pipelines are generally high capacity lines and have diameters of either 1,020 or 1,220 millimeters. The main petroleum pipeline was completed in 2005 under American pressure to limit Russian and Iranian influence in the area. It runs from Baku via Tbilisi to Ceyhan in Turkey, therefore the acronym BTC pipeline. It made partly obsolete the old Soviet pipeline pumping crude oil from the onshore and offshore Caspian fields near Baku west across Azerbaijan and Georgia to the port of Batumi, where the oil is either exported in its crude form or processed at Batumi's refinery. Two natural gas lines parallel the old petroleum line as far as Tbilisi, where they turn north across the Caucasus Mountains to join the grid of natural gas pipelines that supply cities throughout Russia and Eastern Europe.

Condensate 1 km; gas 3,361 km; oil 1,424 km (2008)

Ports and harbours

Sea and water cargo transportation have vital importance for Azerbaijan, especially in regions where road and rail connections are disputed. Azerbaijan has direct maritime connections only with other Caspian littoral states (Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan). However, the Volga-Don canal provides a maritime access to the high seas. The main activity is transport of cargo, mainly of oil and oil products. Shipping regions are Caspian, Black, Mediterranean and Marmara Seas. The main shipping company owes 72 ships, 37 of which are tankers (including 1 water-carrier).

Baku International Marine Trade Port is the largest port on the Caspian Sea. Its ferry terminal underwent a major reconstruction supported by a US$16.2 million loan from EBRD. It is now able to handle 30 million tons of freight a year. The Caspian Sea provides vital transport links with other countries and is being used to ship oil until various pipeline projects are completed.

On June 4, 2004 the Ministry of Transportation of the Republic of Azerbaijan established the Maritime Administration. As the regulatory authority in maritime transport, its functions include participating in the formulation of state policy, regulating transport demand of goods and passengers and for other types of maritime transport services, as well as implementing state programs, concepts and projects for the development of maritime transport.

Merchant marine

Total: 89 ships
Country comparison to the world: 52
Ships by type: cargo 26, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 9, petroleum tanker 46, roll on/roll off 3, specialized tanker 3
Registered in other countries: 3 (Malta 2, Panama 1) (2008)

Airports

There are regular flights between Azerbaijan and former Soviet countries, UK, Germany, France, Austria, Italy, Israel, Iran, Turkey, UAE, China, Georgia and has a cargo flights in UAE, Turkey, Luxembourg, Germany, China, Kyrgyzstan Afghanistan and Iraq. The national airline is Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL). There are 5 international airports located in Baku, Ganja, Nakhchivan, Lenkaran, Zaqatala. Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku reopened in 1999 after a US$64 million upgrading and extension financed by Turkish company Enka. The airport can now handle 1,600 passengers an hour. The new runways are also able to serve jumbojets. The complete overhaul of the international airport in Nakhchivan has been completed in May 2004. The US$32 million reconstruction project of Ganja Airport has been launched by the Government and was completed by mid-2006. In 2008, two more airports were opened in Azerbaijan. The Lankaran International Airport is located in southern part of Azerbaijan, Zaqatala Airport is in the north-west of Azerbaijan territory.

Airports: 25 (2008)
Country comparison to the world: 110

Airports - with paved runways

Total: 27
Over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 4
Under 914 m: 2 (2008)

Airports - with unpaved runways

Total: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 1
Under 914 m: 7 (2008)

Heliports

Total: 1 (2007)

See also

References

  1. ^ "World Investment News. V.I.P. Interviews. H.E. Mr. Ziya Mamedov". Retrieved 2010-11-18. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Azerbaijan Railways". Indexmundi. 2009-12-19. Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  3. ^ "The cornerstone-laying ceremony of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway to be held in October". Azeri Press Agency. 2007-09-12. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  4. ^ "Presidents Inaugurated Construction Of "Baku-Tbilisi-Kars" Railway". Prime-News. 2007-11-21. Retrieved 2007-12-30. 
  5. ^ "Three presidents launch Turkey - Georgia rail link". Railway Gazette International. 2007-11-22. Retrieved 2007-11-24. 
  6. ^ Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Line, International www.railway-technology.com

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