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Astana, Kazakhstan • 21 December 2023

Kazakhstan Starts Construction of New Railway to China

The countries anticipate a boost of 20 million tons in cargo turnover

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primeminister.kz
primeminister.kz

The construction of a new 272 km railway line connecting Bakhty to Ayagoz has commenced in the Abay region. The official initiation of the project was announced by Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov during a teleconference, QazMonitor reports citing primeminister.kz.

This initiative is part of the larger effort to enhance Kazakhstan's transport and transit capabilities, aligning with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev's directive. As part of the new railway's development, a third border crossing with China, Bakhty–Tacheng (Chuguchak), is planned to be opened.

The Bakhty–Ayagoz railway is anticipated to boost throughput capacity between Kazakhstan and China from 28 to approximately 48 million tons, easing congestion at southern checkpoints and attracting additional transit volumes. The completion of the double-track railroad is scheduled for 2027.

This ambitious project will be executed in collaboration with a private investor based on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) principles. The construction phase will involve the establishment of 11 stations, 47 bridges, 23 railroad and 8 highway overpasses, 5 pedestrian bridges, and 16 observation structures. Over 500 thousand units of sleepers and 36 tons of rails will be sourced from domestic manufacturers, aiming for a local content of at least 85%.

Prime Minister Smailov highlighted that Kazakhstan's railroads achieved a record freight volume last year, reaching 245 billion tons/kilometer in the 30 years of independence. Despite geopolitical challenges and infrastructure constraints, the current year maintains high freight rates.

Over the past five years, the volume of transit container transportation has grown 3.2 times. Existing transit corridors are being expanded and new ones are being opened. The Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, North-South and Southern corridors have become particularly relevant.

Alikhan Smailov

However, existing throughput and infrastructure capacities have peaked, prompting the decision to implement various railway industry infrastructure projects. Initiatives include the construction of second tracks on the Dostyk - Moyinty section, a new railroad bypassing Almaty, and the Darbaza–Maktaaral railroad line. Over the next three years, over 1300 km of railroads are planned for construction in the country.

The Prime Minister emphasized that these infrastructure projects will address strategic challenges and generate employment opportunities for over 1,700 people. The establishment of detrainment and entrainment points will further contribute to the creation of new jobs in the region.

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