Kazakhstan to build new railway on border with Uzbekistan

By Muzaffar Ismailov in Tashkent November 27, 2023

Kazakhstan has initiated the construction of a new 152-kilometre Darbaza-Maktaaral railway line on the border with Uzbekistan, the press service of the Kazakh prime minister has announced.

Since the beginning of the year, the volume of cargo transportation between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan has amounted to 25.8mn tonnes. The main cargo flow falls on the Saryagash docking station, which is currently operating at maximum capacity.

"The construction of a new railway line will allow [railway officials] to reorient cargo from the existing Saryagash-Tashkent section to a new branch, unload the Saryagash station and increase export traffic in the direction of Uzbekistan as a whole," the message said.

The prime minister of Kazakhstan, Alikhan Smailov, noted that by the end of this year, bilateral cargo traffic would increase by 16% to 31mn tonnes.

At the same time, the project is divided into two stages. The first involves the construction of the Yerdaut-Maktaaral-Syrdarya line. The Jetysai-Syrdarya branch line will be put into operation next. Kazakhstan's participation in the project will amount to 85%.

"Cargo going to Afghanistan, Iran, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan will pass through this line faster. Another effect: the tension on the Saryagash-Tashkent section will be eased. There has been a lot of cargo there in recent years. At the same time, not all of [the loads] are transferred on time. It has increased dramatically in the last two or three years. The construction will help to unload this main section and give movement to passenger trains," deputy head of Kazakhstan Temir Zholy Kanat Almagambetov said.

Kazakhstan plans to build more than 1300 kilometres of railways in the next three years.

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