About restoration of trans-Caucasian railway
Tuesday, December 4During the Soviet Union, there were two railway lines connecting Russia with the S. Caucasus. One ran through Azerbaijan and the other through Georgia along the Black Sea coast and finally ending up in Armenia. In fact this railway entailed almost the entire South Caucasus. But in the 1990s, both routes were closed down because of the hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan and inside Georgia due to the Russian-inspired conflict in the separatist oriented Abkhazia. For more than 20 years these lines have been cut. Armenia in particular is in desperate need of restoration of the railway links with Russia. These two countries are strategic partners, but there is no land connection between two countries. Only direct communication can be established by air, but even this is problematic, because it makes transportation of goods very expensive and there is always threat that the countries around Armenia could block and close the air-space for such flights. Armenia so far is exercising only one route of land connection with Russia and this is automobile transport through Georgia. But the railway connection is discussed by people from time to time. One thing is the rehabilitation of the existing railways along the Black Sea coast, passing Abkhazian territory and coming into Georgia’s mainland and further to Armenia. There are new ways possible of constructing a trans-Caucasian railway, directly passing from Russia into Georgia, though it is a very expensive project which will need much financial expenditure and technical efforts.