Tashkent–Samarkand high-speed rail line
|Tashkent – Samarkand High speed Railway|
Afrosiyob high-speed train
|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 27⁄32 in) Russian gauge|
The Tashkent to Samarkand high-speed rail line is a 344-kilometre (214 mi) high-speed rail connection between Tashkent and Samarkand, the two largest Uzbek cities. The route passes through four provinces: Tashkent, Sirdaryo, Jizzakh and Samarqand in Uzbekistan. Trains operate seven days a week under the brand Afrosiyob. A extension to Bukhara on the Talgo 250 has run to Bukhara for the first time on August 25 2016, marking the completion of a project to modernise the 256 km route from Samarkand. Tashkent to Bukhara, 600 km, will now take 3 hours and 20 minutes instead of 7 hours.
Construction began on the line on 11 March 2011, with completion planned for later that year at a cost of approximately US$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, some 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 was planned to open for commercial operation in September 2011, but suffered from delays.
Two trainsets for operation on the line were ordered in November 2009 from Talgo at a cost of €38 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. Each trainset consists of two power cars, eight passenger cars with a capacity of 257 people and a dining car. The second trainset arrived in Tashkent on 9 December 2011. The train carried out its first trip from Tashkent to Samarkand on 26 August 2011.
Commercial service started on 8 October 2011 twice a week under the brand Afrosiyob. Initially, total travel time was still more than two and half-hours but services were upgraded to five times a week in January 2012, and daily services started from 13 February 2012. The travel time has been reduced to 2:08 hours on 10 February 2013. 
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- ГАЖК «Ўзбекистон темир йўллари», ОАО «Узжелдоропасс» оъявляет, что началась продажа проездных документов на высокоскоростной поезд «Afrosiyob»
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- High-speed train Afrosiyob to run seven times a week. UzDaily.com. 13 February 2012
- "Поездка в Самарканд на поезде Afrosiyob теперь занимает два часа" (in Russian). Gazeta.uz. 2013-02-12.
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