Azerbaijan Railways

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Azerbaijan Railways
Company typeClosed joint-stock company
Area served
Azerbaijan, CIS Countries, Baltic states, Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Turkey, Iran
Key people
Rovshan Rustamov
ServicesRail Transport
OwnerRepublic of Azerbaijan
Number of employees
WebsiteAzerbaijan Railways Official Site
Azerbaijan railway map 2023
Dates of operation1991–current
PredecessorRussian Imperial Railways 1878-1917
Soviet Railways 1917-1991
(the predecessors of Azerbaijan Railways)
Track gauge1,520 mm (4 ft 11+2732 in)
ElectrificationkV (3,000 V) DC
Length2,918 km (1,813 mi)
Stadler ESh-020 electric multiple unit at Baku
Stadler ESh2 at Bakikhanov Station
Baku suburban railway and metro map

Azerbaijan Railways (Azerbaijani: Azərbaycan Dəmir Yolları) is the national state-owned rail transport operator in the Republic of Azerbaijan. The 2,918 km (1,813 mi), 1,520 mm (4 ft 11+2732 in) gauge network is electrified at 3 kV (3,000 V) DC.[1] The headquarters of the Azerbaijan Railways is in the capital Baku.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 its railway system broke up into national railway systems of various former Soviet republics, from which the independent Republic of Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijan Railways both emerged in that year.

The first railway line in Azerbaijan was laid in 1878 and was opened in 1880 in the suburbs outside Baku.[2]

The railway has 176 stations, 2 of which Biləcəri (in Baku) and Şirvan are completely automated, 12 stations have container courts with adapted mechanisms and machines, 3 stations – Keşlə (in Baku), Gəncə and Xırdalan are able to supply high cargo containers.

Along with the Kars–Tbilisi–Baku railway, a regional rail link project that directly connects Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan since 2017, the railway lines are being modernised in Azerbaijan with new fast rail stock to replace the old rail stock.[3]


Baku Railway Station


The first railway line in Azerbaijan then belonging to the Russian Empire was laid in 1878 and was opened in 1880 within the suburban range of Baku, which led from Sabunçu to Suraxanı, today situated within the city of Baku. The track width corresponded to the Russian 1,520 mm (4 ft 11+2732 in) gauge.[citation needed]

The first long-distance railway line was opened in 1883, which led from Baku to Tbilisi in Georgia.[citation needed]

In 1900 railway lines were opened which connected Baku via Biləcəri with Derbent and Petrovsk (Makhachkala) in Dagestan and thus connected Azerbaijan with the rest of the Russian Empire (and later the Soviet Union).[citation needed]

In 1908 with extension of the railway line from Ararat in Armenia to Şərur and Julfa in the Nakhchivan exclave of Azerbaijan, this part of Azerbaijan was connected with Armenia.[citation needed]

Thus, the development of the Azerbaijani Railway was for the time being considered final.[citation needed]


2TE10M locomotive built during the soviet era, which is still in service as of January 2020

After the collapse of the Russian Empire and the Russian Revolution, the country was transformed into the Soviet Union and the Russian Imperial Railways into the Soviet Railways.[citation needed]

Due to the availability of electricity from the vast water power sources of Azerbaijan, the very early electrification of the railway lines of Azerbaijan began. In 1926 with the electrification with 1,2 kV (1,200 V) direct current of the railway line between Baku and Sabunçu, it became the first electrically operated railway line of the Soviet Union. Later electrifications took place with 3 kV (3,000 V) direct current.[citation needed]

In 1924, the railway line was extended southwards to Ələt and Neftçala.[citation needed]

In 1941, the railway line was extended from Horadiz and Mincivan through Armenia including a railway line extension to Kapan, to Julfa in the Nakhchivan exclave of Azerbaijan. Thus the Nakhchivan exclave of Azerbaijan was finally connected with Azerbaijan proper.[citation needed]

In 1941, the railway line was also extended southwards to Astara, Azerbaijan at the southern border with Iran.[citation needed]

In 1944, the railway line was extended to Kətəlparaq, Ağdam and Stepanakert (Xankəndi).[citation needed]

Until 1991 the railway traffic was operated in Azerbaijan by the Soviet Railway under supervision of the Soviet Traffic Ministry. The Azerbaijani branch of the Soviet Railways was divided into three departments of Baku, Gəncə and Nakhchivan City.[citation needed]

Main building of the Azerbaijan Railways in Baku


E2M62 electric locomotive at Baku station (before modernisation)
Stadler KISS 'Eurasia' electric multiple unit at Xırdalan
Alstom Prima AZ4A on the international train to Tbilisi

With the independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan in 1991, the Azerbaijan State Railways (Azərbaycan Dövlət Dəmir Yolları) was formed the same year.[citation needed]

Due to the conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region in Azerbaijan, the railway service in the Armenian occupied areas of Azerbaijan including Nagorno-Karabakh as well as international railway traffic to Armenia has been cut. As a result, 240.4 km of Azerbaijani railway was under Armenian occupation.[citation needed]

In freight traffic, the exportation of oil from the oil wells from Baku at the Caspian Sea to the Georgian port of Batumi at the Black Sea forms an important share of the rail transport in Azerbaijan: The freight market share of the Azerbaijan State Railway was 21% in 1999.[citation needed]

In 2009, the closed joint-stock company "Azerbaijan Railways" (Azәrbaycan Dәmir Yolları Qapalı Səhmdar Cəmiyyəti, "ADY" QSC) - the national operator of the railway network in Azerbaijan with 100% state capital – was founded on the basis of the Azerbaijan State Railways, functionally replacing it.[citation needed]

The Kars–Tbilisi–Baku railway is a regional railway project to directly connect Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan. The project was scheduled for completion in 2017.[4] Although no additional railway lines will be added in Azerbaijan itself, as this section in Azerbaijan is already double track and electrified, the railway lines will be modernised and new and fast rail stock will be added and will replace the old rail stock which are still in service. The freight market share of the railways are also expected to rise rapidly with completion of the Kars–Tbilisi–Baku railway.[citation needed]

Stadler is to supply double-deck EMUs to Azerbaijan. An agreement for the supply of five Kiss double-deck electric multiple-units was signed by Stadler Rail CEO Peter Spuhler and Javid Gurbanov, Chairman of national railway ADY, at the TransCaspian 2015 trade fair in Baku on May 13.[5]

National railway ADY has placed a €300 million order for 50 Alstom KZ8A twin-section 25 kV AC electric freight locomotives. Also, September 7, 2015, Alstom has begun developing the components for AZ8A freight electric locomotives, intended for supply to Azerbaijan.[citation needed]

Baku suburban railway[edit]

In 2019, a commuter railway in Baku was launched, connecting it to Sabunçu.[6]

Key indicators and areas of activity[edit]

Freight transportation[edit]

Top groups of goods transported by rail in 2021[7]
Group of goods Volume (tonnes) Share in the total volume of
cargo transportation (%)
Oil products 6.515.993 34,8
Cereals 1.568.078 8,4
Mineral construction materials 1.488.730 7,9
Chemical and mineral fertilizers 1.347.228 7,2
Black metals 985.555 5,3
Forest products 853.033 4,6
Industrial raw materials and molds 731.166 3,9
Coal 415.649 2,2
Wood materials 228.788 1,2

Passenger transportation[edit]

Total number of passengers transported by rail[8]
2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
I quarter 718.310 1.081.747 476.232 943.512 1.509.509
II quarter 858.896 253.973 639.023 1.184.290
III quarter 971.424 334.022 648.078 1.249.692
IV quarter 1.301.808 454.610 1.062.759 1.759.030
Total 3.850.438 2.124.352 2.826.092 5.136 517

International railway links with neighboring countries[edit]


International transport corridors[edit]

International North–South Transport Corridor[edit]

The North-South transport corridor is designed to deliver cargo from India and the Iranian Gulf region to Russia, Western Europe, the Baltic States and the Scandinavian countries.[10] The main advantage of the North-South Transit Corridor compared to other routes is that the transit distance and transit time is two to three times less. If sea transportation takes 45-60 days through the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean, the Suez Canal, the Mediterranean and the Baltic Sea to Helsinki, this period with the North-South Transit Corridor is 20-25 days.[citation needed]

The agreement on the establishment of the North-South international transport corridor was signed between the governments of Russia, Iran and India on September 12, 2000. The Republic of Azerbaijan acceded to this agreement on the basis of the Law of September 20, 2005.[citation needed]

The Middle Corridor[edit]

The Middle Corridor, or Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR), serves to increase freight traffic from China to Turkey, as well as to the European Union, and vice versa. The management and development of the transport corridor is carried out by the members of the established Consortium.[citation needed]

Trains running on this corridor deliver goods from China to Europe in an average of 10-12 days. This is one of the main advantages of the transport corridor.[11]

North West Transport Corridor[edit]

The creation of the North-West transport corridor was made possible by the commissioning of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway in 2017. This corridor is designed for increased freight operations between Turkey and Russia via the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway. In particular, the North-West transport corridor facilitates the transportation of Russian-produced coal and grain cargo to Turkey via the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway.[12]

South-West Transport Corridor[edit]

The history of the corridor dates back to the beginning of 2016.[13] The Southwest Transport Corridor operates on the geographical route of the Persian Gulf / India - Iran - Azerbaijan - Georgia - Ukraine - Europe (or Turkey - Europe).[14] The corridor was established at the initiative of Azerbaijan Railways (ADY). The presentation of the route was held on January 12, 2016 in Baku, during which discussions were held between the enterprises of the railways and seaports of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Ukraine, as a result of which a Protocol on the development of the corridor was signed. According to this document, the full name of the corridor is "Persian Gulf - Iran Astara and the Caspian Sea - Black Sea - Europe."[citation needed]

Lapis Lazuli corridor[edit]

A five-party agreement between Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey on transit and transport cooperation on the Lapis-Lazuli route was signed on November 15, 2017 in Ashgabat. The document envisages the modernization of the transport infrastructure of the participating countries (road, rail and sea), as well as the simplification of customs clearance procedures. The agreement facilitates the uninterrupted transportation of goods through the territory of the Contracting Parties, simplifies issues and procedures related to the transit of traffic, and ensures the safety of vehicles, cargo and passengers.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Azerbaijan Railways". Indexmundi. 2021-09-18. Retrieved 2023-08-07.
  2. ^ "The railway transport".
  3. ^ "Recent Developments in the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway Project".
  4. ^ "İlham Əliyev Bakı-Tbilisi-Qars dəmir yolunun açılış mərasimində iştirak edib » Azərbaycan Prezidentinin Rəsmi internet səhifəsi". (in Azerbaijani). Archived from the original on 12 May 2023.
  5. ^ Ltd, DVV Media International. "Stadler to supply double-deck EMUs to Azerbaijan". Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Ilham Aliyev inaugurated Sabunchu Railway Station Complex".
  7. ^ "Dəmir yolları ilə ən çox daşınan yüklər". (in Azerbaijani). Archived from the original on 10 July 2023.
  8. ^ "Azərbaycan Dəmir Yollarının sərnişindaşıma statistikası". (in Azerbaijani). Archived from the original on 30 May 2023.
  9. ^ Ltd, DVV Media International. "Caspian corridor agreement". Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  10. ^ ""Şimal-Cənub" Beynəlxalq Nəqliyyat Dəhlizi". (in Azerbaijani). Archived from the original on 3 Jun 2023.
  11. ^ "Şərq-Qərb dəhlizi". (in Azerbaijani). Archived from the original on 1 June 2023.
  12. ^ "İlk Bakı-Tbilisi-Qars dəmiryolu rəsmən açılıb". BBC News Azərbaycanca (in Azerbaijani). Archived from the original on 14 Nov 2022.
  13. ^ "Cənub-Qərb və Şimal-Qərb nəqliyyat dəhlizləri »". (in Azerbaijani). Archived from the original on 11 July 2023.
  14. ^ ""Cənub-Qərb" nəqliyyat dəhlizi ilə buraxılacaq yeni sınaq qatarı Azərbaycandan keçəcək". Report İnformasiya Agentliyi (in Azerbaijani). 21 June 2020. Archived from the original on 10 July 2023.

External links[edit]