Deutsche Bahn signs MoU with Georgian Railways to push forward plans for new Asia-Europe route

Deutsche Bahn and Georgia’s national rail operator have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) covering collaboration on international freight transport and consultancy services for a number of projects over the next five years.

The partnership was agreed by Mamuka Bakhtadze, Chairman of Georgian Railways, and Niko Warbanoff, Head of International Business Development at Deutsche Bahn AG and CEO of DB Engineering & Consulting GmbH.

The two companies plan to work together to create a new rail connection from China to Europe via central Asia and Georgia, opening up a new route as an additional option for customers seeking an overland connection.

In March this year, Deutsche Bahn signed an agreement with Chinese national operator, China Railways, on expanding rail connections between Europe and China. Following the deal, Deutsche Bahn wants to make the most of the opportunity afforded by China’s Silk Road initiative, ‘One Belt – One Road’. This project envisions a whole array of infrastructural undertakings covering a total of 65 countries.

Warbanoff said: “We look forward to contributing to the Silk Road initiative and thus helping to promote international rail transport. Our work in this area will also offer us access to a large and growing market in Asia.”

In another move, Deutsche Bahn and Georgian Railways are cooperating on planning the development of rail freight links between Europe and Iran, with Georgia as a transit country. Extending the connection to India is an option for the future. In addition, the experts at Deutsche Bahn’s subsidiary DB E&C will provide Georgian Railways with support for organising and producing rail services, reforming its rail system’s structure, and modernising and maintaining rail technology including the company’s fleet of vehicles.