General information on the Reconstruction (engineering structures included) of Sumgait-Yalama Railway project within the framework of the Railway Sector Development program

Thanks to its favorable geographical location in Eurasia, the Republic of Azerbaijan is situated on the intersection of international transport corridors combining trade, transport and communication ties.

This position has created great opportunities for our country to increase its transit potential and become a regional transport and logistics center.

In order to benefit from these opportunities, the Government of Azerbaijan has been implementing large-scale projects aimed at the reconstruction and restoration of the republic's transport system, particularly railways that are one of the main means of transportation.

At present, the works conducted on the railway network of the republic, being the focus of the country's leadership's attention, along with the East-West international transport corridor, also cover the parts of the international North-South transport corridor running through the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The International North-South Transport Corridor Agreement was signed in September 2000 between the founding states, the Russian Federation, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of India, and came into force in May 2002.   The Republic of Azerbaijan joined this Agreement in September 2005.

Implementation of the North-South International Transport Corridor will provide European countries, Russia, Central Asia and Caucasus regions with access to the Persian Gulf and India and create conditions for the intensification of transportation relations between Black Sea ports and Caspian littoral states.



Freight turnover

(million tons)

Financial turnover

(billions  $)

India - European Union



India - Russia



Iran - European Union



Iran - Russia



Pakistan - European Union



Pakistan - Russia



Persian Gulf Countries - Russia



Iraq - Russia







Sources: Comtrade database of United Nations, European Trade Commission, Russian State Statistical Service

As you can see from the above table, the corridor has a great cargo potential. Attraction of some part of this cargo to the route passing through the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan will contribute to the growth of non-oil sector’s share in the country's economy.

The railway forming a part of the International North-South Transport Corridor on the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan, starts on the state border with the Russian Federation and ends on state border with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The Yalama-Astara railway route consists of the following sections:



Railway section

Number of tracks

Operation length, km

Opened length, km



Bilajari - Yalama Railway Line




24.0 km of the road was repaired within the Baku-Sumgait project.

166.5 km long Sumgait-Yalama section is prepared for reconstruction works.


Bilajari - Main Alat Railway Line




Repair works are under way within the Baku-Boyuk Kesik railway project.


Main Alat - Osmanli railway line




59,0 km of road is single-track and 1,5 km is double-track.


Osmanli - Astara railway line




Preparatory works are under way to start construction works.


Border railway line with Astara-IRI




Newly constructed.










Taking into consideration the potential of the corridor and its importance for the country's economy, according to the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated December 7, 2015, No 1608 On Accelerating Works in the Parts of the International North-South Transport Corridor Passing Through the Territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan construction of the 8.3 km long railway line and the railway bridge over the Astara River to the state border of the Islamic Republic of Iran was completed in a short time.

At the same time, the railway infrastructure is planned to be upgraded according to the Action Plan of the Strategic Road Map on Development of Logistics and Trade in the Republic of Azerbaijan approved by Decree No.1138 of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated December 6, 2016.



Project Preparation

In accordance with the request of the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Asian Development Bank in 2016, the Bank added the reconstruction project of the approximately 333.0 km (166.5 km) long road in Sumgayit-Yalama railway section to its Credit Program for 2017-2019 years under the name of  Railway Sector Development Investment Programme.

The Asian Development Bank has provided ultimate technical assistance for the implementation of the preparatory phase within the program. Within the framework of this technical assistance, the French consulting firm Systra selected by the Bank and ARPA consulting firm from Azerbaijan have provided feasibility studies, preliminary project, social and environmental impact assessment reports, land acquisition and resettlement documentation for the Sumgait-Yalama railway line.

The selection process of the Contractor to carry out the detailed design, supply and installation works and the Consultant to supervise the mentioned works has been already finalized and the contracts were signed.


Financial resources

The Memorandum of Consent was signed between the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan Railways CJSC and the Asian Development Bank and the French Development Agency on the implementation of the Railway Sector Development Program.

The project was approved by the Board of Directors of the Asian Development Bank on December 6, 2017.  Following this, Azerbaijan and the Asian Development Bank signed a Loan Agreement for the Railway Sector Development Project on December 19, 2017. Following the implementation of domestic procedures, on January 16, 2018, the Asian Development Bank stated that the Loan Agreement came into effect.

The project is financed by the Asian Development Bank along with the French Development Agency.

The main technical specifications of the railway line


Planned scope of work within the project


         The project envisages the reconstruction of the 333.0 km (166.5 km) long main railway line, repair of 2 side tracks at the station, installation of new railroad switches, renovation, overhaul and repair of bridges and drainage pipes, construction and installation of pedestrian crossings (some with facilities for people with disabilities), provision of animal crossings, repair of road intersections and design and construction of other works.


Procurement activities within the project

Procurement activities under the project will be carried out in accordance with the procedures and rules of the Asian Development Bank, standard document collections, as well as in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

         Key project components that are the subject of procurement activities are as follows:

  1. Consulting services for engineering and construction technical supervision.
  2. Implementation of design, procurement and installation works for rehabilitation of tracks (including engineering structures) on the Yalama-Sumgayit railway line


Prepared security reports

  1. Initial Environmental Examination Report -  Download Azeri and Russian version 
  1. Land Acquisition and Resettlement Report - Download Azeri and Russian version 


Economic benefits of the project

         Within the framework of the feasibility study, the Project has been estimated to generate the following economic benefits.

  • Time saving for cargo operations,
  • Time saving for passenger transportation activities,
  • Cost savings for operation of transport means,
  • Savings from external impacts (such as carbon dioxide emissions, safety, air pollution and noise)
  • Cost savings for infrastructure costs

Impact of the project

Implementation of the Railway Sector Development Program will create opportunities for satisfying increasing requirements for high quality and fast freight and passenger transportation on the Sumgayit-Yalama railway, a part of the North-South transport corridor, which passes through Azerbaijan and plays an important role in the realization of the country’s transit and logistics capabilities, as well as for the reliability and security of these transportations.