Uzbekistan builds railway network bypassing Tajikistan, Turkmenistan

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TASHKENT (TCA) — During the next five years Uzbekistan plans to build and revamp 960 km of railway lines and electrify about 900 km of railways, the Jahon information agency reported.

Uzbekistan will complete the construction and electrification of the railway line Bukhara-Miskin, and electrification of Karshi-Termez and Pap-Namangan-Andijan-Kokand rail routes.

In the early 1990s, the rail routes which linked the north-western and south-western regions of Uzbekistan passed through the territory of Turkmenistan, and rail connections between the Uzbek part of the Ferghana Valley and other regions of the country passed through Tajikistan.

Since then the government has taken big efforts to build railways and create a single railway network of Uzbekistan.

The construction of the 700 km railway line Navoi-Uchkuduk-Sultonuvaystog-Nukus, as well as the Central Asia’s only state-of-the-art combined rail and road bridge of 681 meters across Amu Darya River was the first step in this direction. Prior to that, even the neighboring Karakalpakstan and Khorezm regions had no internal corridor. It was the first real breakthrough in the railroad sector, which connected Karakalpakstan and Khorezm region by rail directly with the rest of the country, remarkably accelerating the delivery time of goods and passengers.

The commissioning of the 223 km railway line Tashguzar-Baysun-Kumkurgan was the next important step. Its launch reduced the distance of freight and passenger traffic to 170 km, or seven hours.

The completion of 123-km electrified railway line Angren-Pap and the 19.2 km tunnel through the Kamchik pass at an altitude of 2,200 meters above sea level, which totaled $1.635 billion, allowed linking the Ferghana Valley region with other regions of the country. Now almost all regions of Uzbekistan are covered by a unified transport system.

In recent years, Uzbekistan has laid a new railway network with a total length of over 1,200 km, upgraded and revamped more than 3,800 km of railroads, and electrified nearly 1,100 km of railways. As a result, the total length of railways connecting all regions of the country has reached 6,500 km.

In 2011, Central Asia’s first high-speed communication connected Tashkent with Samarkand. The high-speed route to Karshi was opened last year. More than one million passengers have been transported in bоth destinations.

Currently, more than 60% of all cargo and over 75% of passengers in Uzbekistan are transported by rail.

Sergey Kwan

TCA