Another new rail line links Asia, Europe

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BAKU, Azerbaijan — A newly opened rail line bypassing Russia is expected to cut travel time for Chinese goods destined for Europe.

"The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad is the shortest and most reliable link between Asia and Europe," Ilham Aliyev, president of Azerbaijan, said at the opening ceremony held in Alyat recently. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili also attended the celebration.

The Economic Times reports that the rail line is part of broader efforts to cut travel time and increase trade capacity between China and Western Europe.

"The opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway is a major step in transport interconnections linking the European Union, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and central Asia ... along the ancient Silk Road," the European Union said in a statement. The route is expected to move 5 million tons of freight a year, but may increase capacity to 17 million tons by 2019.

See the original article online.

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