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The facilities at Samsun port built as part of a ferry line rail project between Turkey and Russia to boost freight and passenger transportation are to begin operations on Feb. 19.
The two countries had made an agreement to build ferry truck stations worth 10 million Turkish Liras at Samsun port in Turkey and Kavkaz port on the Kerch Strait of Russia’s Black Sea coast in 2005. The project aimed to ease the direct railway transportation between the two sides, which had been hampered when the track gauge of the railways were not compatible.
The Samsun-Kavkaz Railway Ferry Line plans to carry an initial 200,000 tons of freight per year, rising to at least 300,000 tons in five years.
Project to expand
With the systems installed and the ports ready to operate, the facilities at Samsun
port will be opened with a ceremony Feb. 19 including Turkish Transportation Minister Binali Yıldırım and Russian Transportation Minister Maxim Sokolov.
The project will introduce more connections with the establishment of an additional facility at Georgia’s Poti and Bulgaria’s Varna ports.
The project is anticipated to improve Turkey’s ties with regional partners by enhancing its operations on a north-south and east-west axis, particularly in terms of the freight flow from Russia to Central Asia and the Middle East, as it will combine rail transportation with sea transportation.
The wagons loaded onto ferries in Kavkaz will be brought to the Samsun facility. If the track gauge fits the Turkish gauge, only the wheel sets will be replaced with the ones that fit the Turkish railways’ track gauges. In this way, the wagons can also transport goods to the Middle East and Europe, transiting through Turkey.
Freight in the wagons whose track gauges do not comply with Turkish railways will be transferred to land road vehicles or Turkish trains at Samsun port and be forwarded to their destination points within Turkey.
The system will work in the same manner concerning goods moving from Russia to Turkey.
Increasing the number of the connections will also contribute to the Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia (TRACECA) international program. TRACECA, established in 1993, is a program for the establishment and development of a road corridor between the EU, the Caucasus and Central Asia, Hurriyet Daily reports.
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