Construction of a new railway line, Darbaza – Maktaaral, spanning 152 km, has commenced in the Turkestan Region of Kazakhstan. The official launch of the teleconference-assisted construction was initiated by the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Alihan Smailov, the press service of the Government of Kazakhstan announced.
The construction of the new railway branch aims to further develop Kazakhstan's transportation and transit potential, ultimately opening a new border crossing point on the Kazakhstan-Uzbekistan state border.
In total, the volume of cargo transportation between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan amounted to 25.8 million tons since the beginning of the year. The main cargo flow passes through the intergovernmental junction station "Saryagash," which is currently operating at its maximum capacity.
The construction of the new railway line will redirect cargo from the existing Saryagash – Tashkent section to the new branch, relieving the "Saryagash" station and increasing export shipments to Uzbekistan as a whole. Additionally, the project will contribute to the development of the Turkestan Region by connecting it to the main railway network of Kazakhstan.
"Railways are the steel arteries that ensure the development of our state's economic and social spheres. Last year witnessed the highest cargo volume transported in 30 years of Kazakhstan's independence, exceeding 245 billion tonne-kilometers. The high pace continues this year," stated Alihan Smailov at the groundbreaking ceremony.
By the end of the year, the volume of cargo transportation with Uzbekistan is forecasted to reach around 31 million tons, a 16% increase compared to the previous year, according to Smailov.
The project is divided into two stages. The first involves the construction of the Erdaut – Maktaaral line, reaching the Uzbekistan state border with access to the "Syr-Darya" station.
The construction of the new railway mainline will create 3,400 jobs, with an 85% share of Kazakhstan's content in the project.
The launch of the new railway branch will significantly increase Kazakhstan's transit potential. Cargo bound for Afghanistan, Iran, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan will transit more quickly along this route. This development is expected to ease congestion on the Saryagash – Tashkent section, which has experienced a substantial increase in cargo traffic in recent years. The construction is anticipated to alleviate pressure on this crucial section, allowing for the smooth operation of passenger trains, as noted by Kazakh officials.
November 30, 2023