New rail container service launched from China via Kazakhstan to Prague through Bosphorus

NUR-SULTAN (TCA) — A delegation of Kazakhstan’s national railways company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ), headed by the Chairman of the company’s Management Board Sauat Mynbayev, took part in the ceremony of receiving the first Xi’an-Ankara-Prague train on November 6 in Ankara (Turkey), KTZ’s press service reported.

Mynbayev in his speech emphasized the importance of this truly historic event.

“The launch of the Xian-Ankara-Prague train proves the demand for the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR) in the logistics market, as well as the prospect of developing this corridor in European directions. The fact that, for the first time, a container train crosses the Marmaray underwater railway tunnel under the Bosphorus Strait, makes it historical,” Mynbayev said.

Kazakhstan and Turkey together with Azerbaijan and Georgia created a multimodal Trans-Caspian bridge, providing the shortest exit of cargo flows from China, Central Asia, the Siberian region of Russia to Turkey and the Mediterranean.

These countries, located between the main world markets, have historically been the hub connecting Asia and Europe, and act as a global bridge.

During the ceremony, it was said that Kazakhstan will continue to conduct systematic work with major players in the logistics business, shippers and consignees to increase volumes and improve the quality of container service with strict adherence to transportation terms.

In addition, the service provided the exporters of Kazakhstan with the opportunity to use this route to deliver their products to Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, as well as to the ports of the Black and Mediterranean Seas.

The new rail service is the implementation of the agreements reached between Kazakhstan Temir Zholy and the Government of China’s Shanxi province in the framework of Beijing’s One Belt, One Road initiative. The train, consisting of 42 forty-foot containers with electronics, will overcome a distance of 8,500 kilometers in 20 days, crossing the territories of ten countries along the route. The train passed the territory of Kazakhstan for 72 hours and was dispatched from the port of Aktau on a feeder vessel through the Caspian Sea along the TITR route.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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