EM 2021 - Through Azerbaijan, but on tracks

Azerbaijan is a landlocked country on the Caspian Sea that gained independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Eastern Partnership has linked the country to the European Union since 2009.

Facts about Azerbaijan

  • Two thirds of the country's income is generated by the oil industry.
  • The Islam was spread by Arab conquerors in the 8th century.
  • The first opera in an Islamic country was created in Baku
  • 40% of the country is filled and surrounded by mountains
  • There are 8.350 rivers in Azerbaijan
  • The first fireplace in human history was discovered in the Azikh Cave in Azerbaijan.
  • The country's official beverage is black tea
  • The world's first offshore oil rig was built in the Caspian Sea in 1947. 3,000 people live in the gigantic industrial city.
  • The Burning Mountain is a rare natural wonder on the Absheron Peninsula.
  • Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov was born in Baku.
  • October 13th is "Railway Worker's Day" in Azerbaijan

Railway in Azerbaijan

Rail transport has existed in Azerbaijan since 1880. The first route was only 27 km long and was mainly used to transport crude oil from the oil fields of Sabunçu, Suraxany and Balaxanı to the refineries.

Today the rail traffic is looked after by the ADY (Azərbaycan Dəmir Yolları). The Baku Metro is also an important service provider.

Bahnhofsgebäude Baku

Pictures and Information about Baku's train station here

The ADY rail network is 2918 km long, of which 800 km are double-track and 1278 km are electrified with 3 kV DC voltage. Tracks have always been laid in Russian broad gauge (1,520 mm). Freight traffic has been expanded for the transport of oil from Baku to the Georgian ports of Batumi and Poti on the Black Sea.

Die neue Eisenbahnbrücke | Foto: ADY

In January 2021, the new railway bridge in the Xirdalan district went into operation. After the overhead line has been renewed, passenger traffic will resume. Until then, only freight trains are allowed on the bridge. Due to a road widening, train traffic was stopped in summer 2020 and the old railway bridge was torn down. The new bridge is a one-piece railway arch bridge and an important link on the Baku - Xırdalan - Sumqayıt route.

In the future, the route network for local traffic is to be expanded in the greater Baku area and the number of stations increased. The construction project also includes a connection to Baku Airport by rail.

The most important station for international train connections is the Böyük-Kəsik border station on the border with Georgia. A train connection to Iran is also possible. For this purpose, ADY has ordered a sleeping car from the Swiss rail vehicle manufacturer Stadler. He developed bogies with lane changing wheels to enable cross-border traffic between Azerbaijan and Iran. Eisenbahn Kurier berichtete)

Schlafwagen für den internationalen Verkehr | Foto: Dierk Lawrenz

Azerbaijan is currently working intensively on converting the overhead line from direct current to alternating current. Priority is given to the entire railway line between Baku and Böyük-Ksik. The conversion should lead to savings in energy and other resources, cost optimization, simple operation, increased train speed and thus to improved freight and passenger traffic.

More about Azerbaijan

From Berlin to Baku by train. For everyone who can't get enough of international travel!

Tourist Attractions

Azerbaijan has some interesting sights to offer that are both historically, culturally and artistically impressive. Most of the tourist magnets are located in the capital Baku, so visitors benefit from short distances and many impressions.

Flame towers

The three so called Flame towerswere built from 2007 to 2013 as hotel and residential complexes. The tallest tower is 181.7 meters high and has 39 floors. The towers are supposed to represent flames and are illuminated at night so that they also appear like flickering flames.

Heydər Əliyev Merkez

A particularly impressive cultural center in Baku is the Heydər Əliyev MerkeziIt was built from 2007 to 2012 according to plans by the architect Zaha Hadid and named after the former president Heydər Əliyev. The 100,000 m² building houses the National Museum, a library as well as exhibition, concert and conference halls.

Virgin Tower

The Virgin Tower stands in the southeastern part of Baku and is 29.5 meters high. According to legend, a princess is said to have thrown herself from the tower into the sea to avoid an arranged marriage. The tower was classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000.

Teppichmuseum

Azerbaijani artifacts & carpets can be found in the museum, which itself looks like a rolled up carpet and attracts thousands of visitors every year. It is one of the capital's most popular tourist destinations and brings its visitors closer to the country's traditional handicrafts.

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