Samsun-Kavkaz Rail Ferry Line, which will provide a new service for combined freight transportation between Russia and Middle East and also Central Asia through Turkey, was officially inaugurated on 19 February 2013 in Samsun (Turkey) port with the participation of Mr Binali Yildirim, Turkish Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications and Mr Maxim Y. Sokolov, Russian Minister of Transport.
In order to overcome the difference in gauges between the two countries and facilitate railway transport between Turkey and Russia, the foundation of a rail-ferry line between Samsun and Kavkaz was laid in 2005. At the moment, it is possible to transport freight by rail from Russia up to Kavkaz Port, from Kavkaz Port to Samsun Port by rail-ferry, and from Samsun Port onwards by rail or by road transport.
Approximately 63,000 tonnes of freight have been transported with 62 test runs since December 2010. Worth a total of approximately TL 10 million and with the intention of transporting 200,000 tonnes of freight annually, the project also aims to:
- Create a combined transport system between Turkey and Russia
- Decrease the transport costs and transport time
- Contribute to the increase of commercial relations, notably between Russia and Turkey, and to contribute to TRACECA corridors
- Provide a combined transport service through Turkey and Russia between the countries bordering the Black Sea, Turkic Republics, Scandinavian countries and the Mediterranean, Middle East, Central Asia, India and China