Belarus hops on Russia-India train with express service to Azerbaijan

Source: Belaruskali

Belarusian Railways and Russian Railways have launched an express train from Belarus to Azerbaijan via the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC). Three trains have already departed, with more to come.

The INSTC has mainly been in the news as the corridor shortening transit times between Russia and India, but Belarus has seen the potential of this route now too. The corridor runs through Azerbaijan, which is an interesting export destination for the country.

Delivery in a week

According to the railway companies, which reported the launch to Belarusian media, the express train can deliver Belarusian export products to Azerbaijan within a week and at competitive rates.

The first three trains carried timber products from Orsha-Zapadnaya station (Belarus) to Absheron station (Azerbaijan). The train journey took seven days.

Renewed interest

The INSTC has been under development since 2000, but there are still several sections that need to be constructed. In the meantime, combined transport services have been carried out on the corridor, with trucking as a temporary solution on the missing parts.

The corridor received renewed interest this year, as Russia was cut off from several supply chains with sanctions. For Russia and Belarus, the corridor is a critical access route to the Central Asian market and India.

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Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is the editor-in-chief of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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