Some 210 kilometers of the Bereket Etrek section of the North-South transnational railway have been laid, the Turkmen government said on Feb. 12.
Earlier it was reported that a 300 kilometer railway line is planned to be commissioned in October 2014. This term was set by Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers in early 2014.
The North-South project is being implemented on the basis of an agreement signed by Turkmenistan, Iran and Kazakhstan in 2007. A project on connecting the railways at the Kazakh-Turkmen border was commissioned in May 2013. At this stage, work is underway in sections of Iran and Turkmenistan.
This regional project will open a way for European and Asian countries to Central Asia and the Persian Gulf.
Up to 3-5 million tons of cargo per year will be initially transported via this route. The volumes will increase to 10-12 million tons in the future, according to the preliminary estimates. The project was implemented with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank.
Turkmenistan borders with Kazakhstan, Iran, Russia, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan onshore and Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan and Iran offshore.