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International Railroad Discussion > Georgia Part 5, Abandoned Akhalkalaki Station


Date: 11/29/18 02:18
Georgia Part 5, Abandoned Akhalkalaki Station
Author: gobbl3gook

The line running east from Tbilisi into the southern Caucasus originally ran as far as the town of Akhalkalaki. (The line was extended in 2017 through to Turkey, the extension leaves the old branch a few kilometers before the original terminus).

One of the many advantages of traveling by bicycle is that it is easy to stop and look around if you want to. And since you've been approaching slowly and quietly, you have a good idea of who else is in the area, and whether its appropriate to explore things like abandoned buildings.

I was watching the trackside infrastructure as I rolled along, and had no qualms more qualms about exploring the old, shuttered depot than I did the brand new not-yet-opened depot a few kms back. It was a solid 1950s-looking structure. Nice stone exterior, metal lettering. Closed up and somewhat deteriorated, but still in pretty good condition.

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/BheREyVRd2M2

Photos from Nov 5, 2017.

Ted in OR

1) Station as seen on the approach from the (small) highway.

2) and 3), front of station, still a sharp looking building. The Soviets built buildings to last, and the climate here is kind. The buff-colored rock is what nearly all buildings in Armenia were made from, and adjacent parts of Georgia used it too. It's a very pretty rock. Certainly Googleable.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/29/18 02:32 by gobbl3gook.








Date: 11/29/18 02:37
Re: Georgia Part 5, Abandoned Akhalkalaki Station
Author: gobbl3gook

4) Odd steel scraps here. Anyone recognize them?  Maybe something to do with de-electrification? 

5) No passengers have boarded here for many years – this looks more like an American train station platform than a former Soviet platform...

6) Station name, nice font.
 








Date: 11/29/18 02:42
Re: Georgia Part 5, Abandoned Akhalkalaki Station
Author: gobbl3gook

7) and 8) Holding my camera to the windows I could take decent interior photos.

9) Nice massive emblem on the outside . Nice that it has withstood the test of time, seems like it would be a good candidate to move to some other public building.








Date: 11/29/18 02:44
Re: Georgia Part 5, Abandoned Akhalkalaki Station
Author: gobbl3gook

Bonus pics:
10) Does anyone recognize this “carriage?” I saw a number of them in the Caucases. It seems unlikely that they were rail equipment, but they're the right size.

11) Camping along the Mtkvari River, reminiscent of the Jon Day River system in Oregon.

12) Bridge over the Mtkari River. I was riding on the highway, but took a little detour to go back and forth across this bridge.








Date: 11/29/18 02:51
Re: Georgia Part 5, Abandoned Akhalkalaki Station
Author: gobbl3gook

13) Map of Georgia, location marked with an "X"
Orange lines are my travels by bike.  Yellow lines travels by train.  Blue lines travels by ferry.  

14) Map of southern Caucasian nations, with my travels marked.  I was in the Caucasus from about Oct 15, 2017 - Nov 15, 2017.  

Previous posts in this series: Kazakhstan, part 1, Almaty 2 Train Station 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4467027 

Kazakhstan, part 2. Trainwatching near the Almaty 1 station 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4467835 

Kazakhstan, part 3, Almaty 1 train station 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4468789 

Kazakhstan, part 4. Boarding train 41 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4469593 

Kazakhstan, part 5. Train 41 to Turkistan 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4470456 

Kazakhstan, part 6. Turkistan City 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4471336 

Kazakhstan, part 7. Silk Road Express on the steppes 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4472113 

Kazakhstan, part 8. Train 378 to Aktau 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4472772 

Kazakhstan, part 9. Train car details 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4473623 

Kazakhstan, part 10. Stations and etc. 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4474370 

Kazakhstan, part 11. Aktau City 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4475213 

Kazakhstan, Part 12. Caspian Sea Ferry: new Asia-Europe routing 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4476138 

Azerbaijan, part 1. Baku station 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4477020 

Azerbaijan, part 2. Train 664 to Balakan  
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4477815 

Azerbaijan, part 3. Balakan 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4478587 


Georgia, part 1. Mtskheta 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4495266 

Georgia, part 2. Tbilisi 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4496046 

Georgia, part 3. Train 371 to Armenia 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4496838 


Armenia, part 1.Yerevan Railway Station 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4497661 

Armenia, part 2. Regional Trains 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4498496 

Armenia, part 3. Yerevan yards 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4499320 

Armenia, part 4. Yerevan Childrens Railway 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4500760 

Armenia, part 5. Childrens Railway Station 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4501699 

Armenia, part 6. Railway museum 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4502704 

Armenia, Part 7. Boarding train 684 to Gyumri 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4515515 

Armenia, Part 8. Riding train 684 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4525133 

Armenia, part 9. Gyumri Station 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4525945 

Armenia, part 10. Streamliner meet 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4526582 

Armenia, Part 11. Gyumri roundhouse 
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4527413 


Georgia, Part 4, Akhalkalaki International Station  
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,4586814
 






Date: 11/29/18 03:17
Re: Georgia Part 5, Abandoned Akhalkalaki Station
Author: andersonb109

Thanks for more on this great continuing series. I take slight issue with one statement. That the Soviets built buildings to last.  Maybe in this case. But as  frequent traveler to former Soviet republics, albeit it not in the desert, most of the old apartment blocks in Ukraine and Russia are falling apart. In the city center, facings on many buildings have fallen right off. Perhaps a function of Winter and the changing temperatures. In Moscow, the monumental 7 Sisters appear to be in good condition as are the government buildings. The many railway stations also appear to be well built and in good shape. But go into the neighborhoods and you will see the poor condition of the older style Soviet apartment buildings. There are water leaks everywhere and the elevators are down right scary. Same was true in East Germany until the wall came down and the older buildings were town down or refurbished. But many Soviet era buildings, residential in particular are poorly built and falling apart. Of course in this country we have many buildings in poor condition as well. But they generally they are structurally sound with exterior cladding  still attached.



Date: 11/29/18 09:18
Re: Georgia Part 5, Abandoned Akhalkalaki Station
Author: usmc1401

Could be a truck body.



Date: 11/29/18 10:27
Re: Georgia Part 5, Abandoned Akhalkalaki Station
Author: GettingShort

If I understand you this station is abandoned because the new line to Turkey bypasses this location. 

Really enjoyed seeing more pictures from that trip. Hope you find a few more to post as you get time. 



Date: 11/30/18 22:48
Re: Georgia Part 5, Abandoned Akhalkalaki Station
Author: gobbl3gook

Anderson109 wrote: 
"I take slight issue with one statement. That the Soviets built buildings to last.  Maybe in this case. But as  frequent traveler to former Soviet republics, albeit it not in the desert, most of the old apartment blocks in Ukraine and Russia are falling apart."

Anderson-- point taken.  I saw plenty of crumbling apartment blocks in Georgia, too.  

I'll post some photos in a future thread, just to balance things out.  

I'm just writing on the fly here, the memories are a year old now.  Not all of my logic is well-thought-out, not all reporting accurate, feel free to comment and correct.  

Ted in OR



Date: 12/01/18 10:01
Re: Georgia Part 5, Abandoned Akhalkalaki Station
Author: GettingShort

usmc1401 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Could be a truck body.

The carriage is from a Soviet army command or communications truck.  There's a graveyard of dozens of them at Chernobyl.




Date: 12/01/18 10:35
Re: Georgia Part 5, Abandoned Akhalkalaki Station
Author: Duna

andersonb109 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks for more on this great continuing series. I
> take slight issue with one statement. That the
> Soviets built buildings to last.  Maybe in this
> case. But as  frequent traveler to former Soviet
> republics, albeit it not in the desert, most of
> the old apartment blocks in Ukraine and Russia are
> falling apart. In the city center, facings on many
> buildings have fallen right off..

I spent two weeks in Moscow & Saint Petersburg last May. It's not nearly as dire as you say. Yes there is a lot of crappy construction, but it's not that bad. Not as bad as large areas of Baltimore, Newark, Detroit, Cleveland, etc. Plus it's safe.

The old 4-5 floor Soviet apartments (known as "Khrushchyovka" after Nikita Khrushchev, not a positive term) are being repalced by newer, taller buildings at a very rapid rate.

Photo series: https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?17,4637147



Date: 12/13/18 23:50
Re: Georgia Part 5, Abandoned Akhalkalaki Station
Author: norm1153

gobbl3gook Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Anderson109 wrote: 
> "I take slight issue with one statement. That the
> Soviets built buildings to last.  Maybe in this
> case. But as  frequent traveler to former Soviet
> republics, albeit it not in the desert, most of
> the old apartment blocks in Ukraine and Russia are
> falling apart."
>
> Anderson-- point taken.  I saw plenty of
> crumbling apartment blocks in Georgia, too.  
>
> I'll post some photos in a future thread, just to
> balance things out.  
>
> I'm just writing on the fly here, the memories are
> a year old now.  Not all of my logic is
> well-thought-out, not all reporting accurate, feel
> free to comment and correct.  
>
> Ted in OR

Your incredible, intelligent stories told in a block of posts, have several times spurred me off to search and read up on subjects that came to mind as I read through your posts.   Thanks very much for the work you've done to put all of these up.



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