The RA Minister Vahan Kerobyan received the General Director of the “South Caucasus Railway” CJSC Aleksey Melnikov at the Ministry of Economy.
The interlocutors discussed the problems of the “South Caucasus Railway”, the forthcoming programs and the prospects of cooperation.
Aleksey Melnikov informed Vahan Kerobyan that in the near future the company will be replenished with new rolling stock, comfortable passenger carriages meeting modern requirements, as well as electric trains. The new passenger carriages will be delivered in May-June of the current year, while the new electric trains will be delivered by August 1.
Aleksey Melnikov presented some of the company’s problems to the Minister of Economy, noted the necessity of the 24/7 work of the customs control with no break in service, the absence of phytosanitary inspections at the customs point, which can be arranged in Ayrum, as well as mentioned the issue of the state’s subsidizing of the passenger traffic. The General Director of the “South Caucasus Railway” also emphasized the importance of establishment of transportation transfer hubs, provision of a good environment along the railway and in the vicinity of the railway, etc.
Vahan Kerobyan briefly presented to his guest the ambitious project of building the “Dry Port” in Gyumri and the Industrial Park in Ararat․ With involvement of good specialists, it is planned to create an environment where it will be comfortable for companies to work, whereby production will be exported to the EEU or third countries. The Minister stressed that the railway connection is a mandatory part for implementation of the specified project. Aleksey Melnikov considered the idea interesting, noting that the railway station in Gyumri has large traffic capacity, which can be used during the project implementation. The Minister also suggested considering the demand presented by Armenian businessmen to organize transportation by rail with trailers for trucks and buses. In response, Aleksey Melnikov expressed readiness to have one-to-one discussions with Armenian businessmen on transport logistics schemes.
Vahan Kerobyan also spoke about the possible prospect of having high-speed trains, emphasizing their presence will dramatically increase the inflow of tourists to Armenia. Aleksey Melnikov noted the problem is difficult to solve due to the rugged mountainous topography, it is also very expensive, but not impossible.
At the end of the meeting, the interlocutors agreed that the company’s problems will be submitted to the Ministry in writing, whereby they will be studied, and then appropriate solutions will be offered.