KTZ prioritises Chinese relief trains to Turkey via Middle Corridor

Image: KTZ / Kazakhstan Temir Zholy

China dispatched the first train carrying humanitarian aid products for Turkey on 29 March. This train carried fifty 40-foot containers; however, according to KTZ Express, 150 more containers remain to be dispatched to Turkey from China. For this purpose, the Kazakh company prioritises the relief trains operating them as shuttle trains.

The shuttle train operation results in less time spent crossing the territory of Kazakhstan. KTZ Express underlined that crossing the country takes only 90 hours currently, with an optimised departure schedule from the Altynkol station. Specifically, trains depart three times a week, while the service tariffs are also fixed.

Three times faster

The humanitarian cargo consists mainly of tents that will temporarily accommodate people affected by the devastating and deadly earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria in February. The route relief trains follow starts from China, crossing through Kazakhstan, the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, and Georgia and from there to Mersin in Turkey.

KTZ Express claims that the special shuttle train conditions in Kazakhstan, combined with measures taken from the Chinese side, transit times will reduce by three times. Chinese sources have commented that the best possible transit time for these services is 30 days, in contrast to the average of 40-50 days spent to complete services via the same route.

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Author: Nikos Papatolios

Nikos Papatolios is the Editorial Coordinator of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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