by Nana Martirosyan
South Caucasus Railway (SCR) CJSC launches "Armenia" train running Yerevan-Batumi-Yerevan starting June 15, SCR CEO Viktor Rebets told reporters on 10 June.
He said the ticket prices have been left unchanged for the last three years: 26,000 drams for sleep cars, 11,000 drams for reserved accommodations, 15,000 drams for compartment coach and 17,5 thousand drams for compartment coach with higher comfort.
Considering the growing passenger flow to Batumi and back to Yerevan, SCR CJSC is upgrading the passenger service. In the period from 2009 up to 2013 the travel time was reduced by 6 hours - passengers reach Batumi in 15 hours and 45 minutes.
"To reduce the travel time, the company held negotiations with the Georgian to have all the border and customs procedures and inspections done directly on the train," Rebets said. He recalled that compartment coaches and sleep cars have WiFi connection. In addition, the passengers of the sleep cars are provided with local SIM-cards free of charge.
Viktor Rebets said the railway infrastructure is in an ideal state which ensures safety travel.
Asked about the state of the Abkhazian railway and Gyumri-Kars railway, Rebets said that re-activation of the given railways has a political subtext. "The 50km Abhkazian railway needs repair, but after repair and the issues connected with the re-activation of the railway, the company will be able to serve also that direction," he said. CJSC "South Caucasian Railway" is a 100% subsidiary of JSC "Russian Railways" and provides concession management of Armenian railroads. CJSC "Armenian Railways" was referred to the concession management to the company "SCR" according to the Concession Agreement signed on February 13, 2008. The term of the concession management is 30 years with possible extension for another 10 years.