Landmark megaproject: Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to be connected via new railroad

12.27.2023

Construction of a new railway line Darbaza — Maktaaral with a length of 152 km started in Turkestan region. Alikhan Smailov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, gave an official start to the works in the mode of teleconference.

A large infrastructure project is being implemented on behalf of the Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and is aimed at further development of transport and transit potential of the republic. As part of it, a new checkpoint across the Kazakh-Uzbek state border will be opened.

In general, since the beginning of the year, the volume of cargo transportation between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan amounted to 25.8 million tons. The main cargo flow passes through the interstate junction station «Saryagash», which today operates at the limit of capacity. The construction of the new railway line will allow reorienting cargoes from the existing Saryagash-Tashkent section to the new branch, unloading the Saryagash station and increasing export transportation in the direction of Uzbekistan as a whole. In addition, the project will contribute to the development of Turkestan region by connecting it to the main railroad network of the republic.

To expand the capacity of this section, as well as to increase the export and transit potential of our country, we give a start to the construction of a major railway project — a new line Darbaza — Maktaaral. The project is divided into two stages. The first one involves construction of the line Yerdaut — Maktaaral — the state border of Uzbekistan with access to the Syrdarya station. The second stage envisages commissioning of Zhetysai — state border of Uzbekistan branch with access to the same station. A total of 152 km of railroad track will be built. For the project it is planned to purchase 19.7 thousand tons of rails, as well as 280 thousand sets of reinforced concrete sleepers and rail fasteners. Construction of the new railroad will create 3,400 jobs. The share of Kazakhstani content in the project will amount to 85%.

Kanat Almagambetov, Deputy Chairman of the Board of KTZ, emphasized that the Darbaza-Maktaaral line will connect two remote districts of Turkestan region — Maktaaral and Zhetysai — with the rest of Kazakhstan. Kanat Almagambetov, Deputy Chairman of the Board of KTZ, emphasized that the Darbaza-Maktaaral line will connect two remote districts of Turkestan region — Maktaaral and Zhetysai — with the rest of Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan’s transit potential will also increase significantly: cargoes that go to Afghanistan, Iran, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan will pass through this line faster. Another effect: tension on the Saryagash-Tashkent section will be eased. In recent years, there has been a lot of cargo there. At the same time, not all of them are transferred in time, because this junction is not designed for such a cargo flow. It has increased dramatically in the last two or three years. Construction will help unload this main section and give movement to passenger trains the construction of a railroad through Pakistan to India is currently under discussion. And the launch of the line Darbaza — Maktaaral will be a significant contribution of Kazakhstan to the development of this strategic route. The cargo flow will additionally increase by 10-14 million tons. And further growth up to 20-25 million tons is possible. This section, bypassing the Tashkent junction, will be much faster to carry cargo in both directions.

It should be noted that as part of further expansion of transport and transit potential of Kazakhstan, the Government is systematically working on the development of railway infrastructure. In particular, the construction of second tracks on the section Dostyk — Moyinty and a new railroad bypassing Almaty is already underway. In the near future it is planned to start work on a new railroad line Bakhty — Ayagoz with access to the third international junction with China. In total, over 1300 km of railroads will be built in the republic within three years.

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