Poland and Hungary sign up to Trans Caspian International Transport Route

Trans Caspian International Transport Route: The dream  of a new “joined up” 4766km  intermodal transport running from China to Europe bypassing Russia  came one step closer to fruition yesterday when rail operators in both Poland and Hungary signed up to the scheme.
On completion,  the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR) will link China to Europe via  Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and Ukraine and provide a new overland freight route with an estimated annual capacity of 27.5m tons of containerised cargo. Part of China’s ambitious One Belt One Road project, the route is being developed  by a consortium consisting of Azerbaijan’s  ADY Express and ACSC Logistics, Kazakhstan’s KTZ Express and Georgia’s Trans Caucasus Terminals LLC.
In related  developments yesterday, the Hungarian rail forwarding company Rail Cargo Hungaria (RCH) signed an agreement with KTZ Express, while Poland’s broad-gauge railway operator PKP LHS  – which already serves as infrastructure manager and exclusive operator of the 394km line linking the Ukrainian border with Katowice  – signed a declaration of access with the consortium.  Under the terms of RCH’s agreement with the Kazakh rail operator, the two countries pledged to make several of their border stations fully accessible to trains and trucks operating along the new route, 
Like Poland, Hungary shares a border with Ukraine which, given its poor relations with Russia, stands to gain as much as anybody from the new land route,  and news of yesterday’s  agreements will therefore have been welcomed in Kiev, which also believes that TITR makes sound commercial sense; when Ukraine signed up to the scheme in May this year, its Infrastructure Minister Volodymyr Omelyan  estimated that the cost of shipping a 40-foot container from the Ukrainian-Polish to the  Kazakh-Chinese border had dropped from $5,559 to $3,980. 

Source: TREND