Tashkent–Samarkand high-speed rail line
|Tashkent – Samarkand High speed Railway|
Tashkent Main Railway Station in Tashkent
|Termini||Tashkent Railway Station, Tashkent
Samarkand Railway Station, Samarkand
|Opened||8 October 2011|
|Rolling stock||Talgo 250|
|Line length||344 km (214 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,520 mm (4 ft 11 5⁄6 in) Russian gauge|
The Tashkent to Samarkand high-speed rail line is a 344-kilometre (214 mi), high-speed rail connection between the two largest Uzbek cities of Tashkent and Samarkand and through four provinces: Tashkent, Sirdaryo, Jizzakh and Samarqand in Uzbekistan. The train operates seven times a week under the brand Afrosiyob.
Construction began on the line on 11 March 2011, with completion planned for later that year at a cost of roughly $70 million. The line includes both new and rebuilt trackage, as well as adding modern signaling systems to the route. In addition to building trackage capable of supporting high-speed service, track of lower standards was built to the cities of Bukhara and Khiva as part of the project. The 344 kilometres (214 mi) high-speed line is capable of speeds up to 250 km/h (160 mph), with a total travel time between Tashkent and Samarkand of about two hours. The line is planned to open for commercial operation in September 2011. However as of September 18 only 35 km of high speed track were installed and railway company reportedly lacked the money to upgrade the entire route.
Two trainsets for operation on the line were ordered in November 2009 from Talgo at a cost of €38 million ($53 million). The cost of the purchase was split between operator O'zbekiston Temir Yo'llari and a loan from the Fund for Reconstruction and Development of Uzbekistan. The first trainset, a Talgo 250, was delivered to Tashkent on 22 July 2011, with a second planned to follow in September. Each trainset consists of two power cars, eight passenger cars with a capacity of 257 people and a dining car. Train carried out its first trip from Tashkent to Samarkand on 26 August 2011 with passengers to visit Music Festival "Sharq taronalari" in Samarqand.   The train covered the distance of 340km in two hours.
On 24 January 2012 OJSC "Uzjeldorpass" (Uzbek Passenger Railways) announced that Afrosiyob will run five times a week. From 13 February 2012 Afrosiyob runs on route Tashkent-Samarkand-Tashkent each day, the press service of Uzjeldorpass said.
From May 2012 Afrosiyob runs between two cities twice a day on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, announced State joint stock railway company Uzbekistan Temir Yollari.
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- "Uzbekistan’s high-speed rail plans face logistics challenges". Central Asia Newswire. 22 October 2010. Archived from the original on 1 August 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
- "First high-speed Talgo electricity train arrives in Tashkent". Uzbekistan Daily. 24 July 2011. Archived from the original on 1 August 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
- "Uzbekistan receives first high-speed train from Spain". Railway Insider. Archived from the original on 1 August 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
- Uzbekistan’s high-speed trains said to lack suitable tracks
- "Talgo 250 arrives in Toshkent". Railway Gazette International. 26 July 2011. Archived from the original on 1 August 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
- First high-speed Talgo electricity train arrives in Tashkent, 24 July 2011
- Uzdaily: First high-speed electricity train carries out first trip from Samarkand and Tashkent, 27 August 2011
- Uzbekistan Launches High Speed Tashkent-Smarkand Rail Line, September 08 2011
- ГАЖК «Ўзбекистон темир йўллари», ОАО «Узжелдоропасс» оъявляет, что началась продажа проездных документов на высокоскоростной поезд «Afrosiyob»
- High-speed Afrosiyob train starts to run between Tashkent and Samarkand, 6 October 2011
- Uzbekistan Today: 2.5 Hours to Samarqand
- High-speed train Afrosiyob to run five times a week. UzDaily.com. 24 January 2012
- High-speed train Afrosiyob to run seven times a week. UzDaily.com. 13 February 2012
- Afrosiyob train to run twice a day. UzDaily.com, 4 May 2012