Azerbaijan Railroad

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Azerbaijan Railroad


formed in June 1967. It was formerly part of the Transcaucasus Railroad. About 95 percent of the railroad is in the territory of the Azerbaijan SSR, and its headquarters are in Baku. It extends as far as the North Caucasus Railroad on the north (Derbent station) and the Transcaucasus Railroad on the west (Beiuk-Kiasik and Norashen stations). Its southern branch runs along the USSR-Iranian border. As of Jan. 1, 1969, the railroad’s operational length was 1,868 km.

Construction of the railroad began in the 1870’s. In 1880 the Baku-Sabunshi-Surakhany line was put into operation. It was originally intended for transporting oil, but after the construction of oil pipelines, it became primarily a passenger line. In 1883 the line from Baku through Beiuk-Kiasik to Tbilisi was built, which, together with the earlier lines from Tbilisi to Batumi and Poti, created a direct route between the Caspian Sea and Black Sea ports. The Baladzhary-Derbent line, connecting areas in Transcaucasia with the North Caucasus and other parts of the country, was constructed in 1900. The Dzhul’fa-Norashen-Masis line, completed in 1908, connected the Iranian border station Dzhul’fa with Yerevan and other Transcaucasus points. The following lines were built by the Soviet government: Aliat-Mindzhivan-Kafan (1936); Mindzhivan-Dzhul’fa (1941), which shortened the trip between Baku and Yerevan; Osmanly-Astara (1941); Sal’iany-Neftechala (1941); and Adzhikabul-Ali-Bairamly (1941). In order to exploit and transport the Dashkesan iron ore deposits, the Alabashly-Kushchinskii Most line was built in 1950. The first electrified line of Baku-Sabunchi (1926) is part of the Azerbaijan Railroad. By 1968, the Beiuk-Kiasik-Udzhary, the Baku-Kishly-Sumgait, the Baladzhary-Duvannyi, and the Alabashly-Kushchinskii Most lines were electrified, as well as a number of other short lines.

In 1967 the freight turnover of the Azerbaijan Railroad constituted 1.1 percent of the USSR network’s entire turnover. The freight density on the Baku-Derbent and Baladzhary-Beiuk-Kiasik main lines is quite high. The Azerbaijan Railroad yearly transports 30 million tons of various cargoes. The greatest proportion is oil freight (42 percent), followed by ore, cement and other construction materials, chemical and mineral fertilizers, metals, and agricultural freight. Coal, lumber, machines, equipment, grain, and light industry freights predominate in import and transit. Railroad service is typed and distributed as follows: transit 27 percent, import 19 percent, export 28 percent, and local service 26 percent. Major points of dispatch and arrival include Baku, Giuzdek, Sumgait, Karadag, Kishly, and Kirovabad. Together with the port of Baku, the largest on the Caspian Sea, the Azerbaijan Railroad handles the transshipment of various freight to Baku. In 1962 a direct route was established between the Transcaucasus and Central Asian regions at the time when the ferry for the Baku-Krasnovodsk line was put into operation.

The Azerbaijan Railroad provides interurban passenger service (Baku-Tbilisi, Baku-Yerevan, Baku-Moscow, etc.) as well as suburban service. The total passenger turnover is 0.6 percent of the entire USSR railroad network.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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