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    MOSCOW, March 18, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Access railway tracks are being laid to the Olya seaport on the Caspian shore, next to Astrakhan in the Volga estuary. The project will be commissioned on schedule, pledges Russian Railways company. An initial stretch is to be ready, November next, the joint-stock company press service says in a statement.

    The Olya-bound rail will come as an essential part of the North-South transnational transport corridor. It stretches from the Arabian Sea via Iran, on to Olya by ferry across the Caspian, and on by water along the Volga and the Baltic Canal up to the Gulf of Finland or by rail across European Russia to Western Europe.

    A decision to build a railway to Olya and upgrade the infrastructure of the Olya railway station and the nearby Yandyki station was made, August 29, 2003. Yandyki improvements started September last, and an initial section of a railway eventually to reach Olya was laid, October 1.

    The Yandyki-Olya rail will be 45.9 kilometres long. Goods traffic for next year is expected to make four million tonnes, and eight million in 2010.

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