A Steep Rise in Popularity of Women-Only Carriages on Kazakhstan’s Trains

Since the beginning of this year, some 70,000 women in Kazakhstan have opted to travel by train in carriages designated as “women’s cars”. According to data provided  by the national carrier “Kazakhstan Temir Zholy” (KTZ), this is a steep rise from the 34,000 who used the same carriages in 2023.

Introduced at the beginning of 2021, the service which female travelers deem safer and more comfortable than mainstream carriages, has now been used by over 359,000 women.

Outlining the initiative, KTZ explained that tickets for women’s cars, available on eight trains, are sold only to women and are staffed exclusively by female conductors. Any males traveling must be seven years’ old or under.

With reference to forward planning, the company stated, “A social survey is currently being conducted on the project. Once collated, the results should provide a better understanding of the needs and preferences of passengers, and subsequently, help determine a strategy for its future development.”

The need to launch women-only cars in Kazakhstan was spurred by public outrage following the rape of a female passenger by two conductors on a high-speed train traveling the ‘Talgo’ route between Astana and Aktobe in the fall of 2018. During the ensuing high-profile case in  July 2019, conductors Zhetes Umbetaliyev and Kolkanat Kurmaniyazov were found guilty and sentenced to prison.

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Times of Central Asia