City Hall, Tbilisi Transport Company Meet with Stadler

Vice-Mayor of Tbilisi Irakli Khmaladze and the Director of the Tbilisi Transport Company, Mamuka Kobakhidze, met Friday with representatives of the Swiss rail company Stadler.

During the meeting, the participants discussed the details of Stadler’s activities in Georgia and plans for future cooperation within the framework of the Memorandum of Cooperation that was signed in June.

Khamaladze said after the meeting, “Several months ago, Tbilisi City Hall signed a Memorandum with Stadler. The first working meeting was held with the management and founders of the company today, where we discussed the details of cooperation within the memorandum. If Tbilisi City Hall and Stadler can come to an agreement on several important issues, then by the end of the year there may be a cooperation agreement. Within the scope of this agreement, a Stadler rail transport factory will be built in Georgia.”

“It is an important project in terms of transport development as it will enable us to introduce new buses and renew the metro trains in the capital,” said Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze after signing the Memorandum in June. Kaladze also said that the factory will play an important role in creating new jobs for Tbilisi residents. Stadler Rail employed approximately 7,000 people worldwide in 2017.

Stadler first entered the Georgian market in July 2016, when four new, double-decker ‘Stadler KISS’ trains began carrying railway passengers between Tbilisi and Batumi. The trains marked a significant upgrade from previous trains servicing the route as they are adapted for people with disabilities and meet European standards of safety and comfort.

After signing the Memorandum, Georgian Railway JSC released a statement saying that they believe Stadler decided to build the factory in Georgia due to its previous success entering the market and the continual improvement of the domestic business environment. “Launching such a high-tech enterprise in our country bears paramount importance for increasing the export potential of Georgia, providing high-end fully equipped railroad passenger trains as well as metro and tram rolling stock for the regional and worldwide markets,” read the Georgian Railway statement.

Stadler is one of the world's leading companies in railroad transport, and has been operating since 1942. It has been working closely with Georgian Railway, Tbilisi City Hall, and the Georgian government on its plans to construct a factory in the country. The Swiss company manufactures railroad passenger trains, as well as subway and tramway cars, and has various plants worldwide. Products produced in Georgia will be designated for the local and regional market.

Stadler’s holding company consists of eight subsidiaries with locations in Algeria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Switzerland, Spain, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Belarus.

In 2014, Stadler formed a joint venture with Azerbaijan-based company International Railway Distribution LLC and agreed to provide the passenger car that will run on the long-awaited Baku-Tbilisi-Kars route. 

By Samantha Guthrie

Photo: Tbilisi City Hall

11 September 2018 09:36