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

Landmark megaproject: Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to be connected via new railroad
Фото: primeminister.kz 27.11.2023 12:02 698

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, El.kz cites primeminister.kz.

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.

In his speech, the Prime Minister noted that today another landmark event is taking place in Kazakhstan.

"Railroads are steel arteries that ensure the development of economic and social spheres of our state. Last year the maximum volume of cargo was transported for 30 years of Kazakhstan's independence, which amounted to more than 245 billion ton-kilometers. High rates are maintained in the current year," Alikhan Smailov said. 

Head of the Government stressed that by the end of the year the volume of cargo transportation with Uzbekistan is forecasted at the level of about 31 million tons, which is 16% higher than last year.

"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," Prime Minister said.

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%.

After laying the first link of the railroad bed Prime Minister congratulated everyone on the beginning of work and emphasized the need to ensure quality implementation of the project in due time.

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.

"Nine stations will be built. The railroad will give a direct exit of cargoes from Kazakhstan to these areas and from these areas to Kazakhstan. Because now they have to pass the border with Uzbekistan. This affects the development of the districts. After construction, they will get a new serious impetus," he said.

Kazakhstan's transit potential will also increase significantly, he said.

"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,"Kanat Almagambetov said.

He also said that 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.

"We forecast that 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," Kanat Almagambetov concluded.

It should be noted that as part of further expansion of transport and transit potential of Kazakhstan, the Government's 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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