As the Ashgabat correspondent of Turkmenistan.ru reports, a ceremony of linking the northern and southern stretches of the Trans Karakum rail road was held at the 440th kilometer of the road today.
It took Turkmen constructors more than five years to build a steel track through the Karakum desert. The opening ceremony was timed to the important state holiday, Day of State Flag, marked on February 19.
Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov congratulated railroad constructors on laying down the road's "golden link". In his address the Turkmen leader expressed confidence that the Ashgabat-Karakum-Dashoguz railway will open new opportunities for further development of this province and become an important transit corridor from Europe, Asia and Far East to Persian Gulf.
As the Ashgabat correspondent of Turkmenistan.ru was told in the Ministry of railway transportation of Turkmenistan, "the official inauguration of the railway corridor between the northern and southern parts of the country will take place this March, on the day of the 6th anniversary of the presidential decree on construction of the rail trunk.
It is expected that a passenger train from Dashoguz would arrive in Ashgabat in 12 hours. From now on, the railway route between these regions will be 700 km shorter.
Over 1,5 thousand workers of Turkmenistan's ministry of railway transportation subsidiaries were engaged in construction of the Ashgabat-Karakum-Dashoguz railway. Of them, 800 people worked in the desert. Stowage of sleepers and rails was carried out by three road machine stations. Workers of two construction trains laid down the groundwork and erected buildings and engineering structures.
The new trunk will be serviced by 500 rail workers. Thousands of new jobs will be created with the development of the railway's infrastructure.