Kazakhstan is building a new railway line to increase its transit potential on the intermediate corridor. It runs from Dostyk near the Chinese border to Moiynty near the Caspian Sea. Construction has officially started, supported by a total investment amount of 1.69 billion euros.
This was announced by President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev at the 6th Eastern Economic Forum, which was held in Russia last week. He said that Kazakhstan, as a transit country for goods from Central Europe, has fully proven its economic attractiveness and reliability. Therefore, he pledged to improve infrastructure and handle more goods in transit.
The new railway line is expected to be an upgrade of the Middle Corridor, which crosses Kazakhstan and connects the Caspian Sea, where a stretch of sea connects the port of Baku. The Middle Corridor should especially benefit the countries of south-eastern Europe.
Thanks to the modernization and the resolution of the bottlenecks of the lines, the volumes of this corridor are expected to increase. Construction and electrification of the Dostyk-Moiynty line is expected to be completed in 2025. After completion, the capacity of the corridor is expected to increase fivefold.
The intermediate corridor was created in February 2014, connecting Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. Its main ports along the Caspian Sea are Baku in Azerbaijan and Aktau in Kazakhstan. In 2019, container traffic between these two ports increased by 71%. Over the past three years, the volume of freight in the corridor has increased 13-fold.
The intermediate corridor constitutes an important alternative for Eurasian traffic. Although having experienced increasing volumes, these volumes do not compete with those of the main route via Poland and Belarus. Countries along the route have relatively poor infrastructure and limited capacity, and transit times are much longer.
A freight owner revealed to RailFreight.cn that the transit time of the China-Turkey train can sometimes be up to 70 days, and the return trip can be up to 90 days. A report released by the International Union of Railways (UIC) said the line’s infrastructure is inexpensive, but transit time is unsatisfactory, the market is limited and it is difficult to compete with the main line in the short term. time.