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|
|Operating speed||250 km/h|
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 141 km long extension to Qarshi started operation on August 22, 2015, though at lower speed of 160 km/h.. An extension to Bukhara on the Talgo 250 ran for the first time on August 25, 2016 — marking the completion of a project to modernise the 256 km route from Samarkand. Travel from Tashkent to Bukhara, a distance of 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 state 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 as of 10 February 2013. 
The high-speed rail line is expected to be extended until Khiva by Urgench in order to complete the Uzbek silk road. A new station has opened in december 2018 in Khiva and was connected with a 30 kilometers railroad to Urgench. The connection between Bukhara and Urgench is expected to be completed in 2021.
Routes as of 31 august 2019:
- "Uzbekistan begins construction on high-speed railway". Central Asia Newswire. March 11, 2011. Archived from the original on August 1, 2011. Retrieved August 1, 2011.
- "Uzbekistan's high-speed rail plans face logistics challenges". Central Asia Newswire. October 22, 2010. Archived from the original on August 1, 2011. Retrieved August 1, 2011.
- "First high-speed Talgo electricity train arrives in Tashkent". Uzbekistan Daily. July 24, 2011. Archived from the original on August 1, 2011. Retrieved August 1, 2011.
- "Uzbekistan receives first high-speed train from Spain". Railway Insider. Archived from the original on August 1, 2011. Retrieved August 1, 2011.
- Uzbekistan’s high-speed trains said to lack suitable tracks
- "Talgo 250 arrives in Toshkent". Railway Gazette International. July 26, 2011. Archived from the original on August 1, 2011. Retrieved August 1, 2011.
- First high-speed Talgo electricity train arrives in Tashkent, 24 July 2011
- "Второй электропоезд Afrosiyob прибыл в Ташкент (фото)" (in Russian). Gazeta.uz. December 10, 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
- "Поездка в Самарканд на поезде Afrosiyob теперь занимает два часа" (in Russian). Gazeta.uz. February 12, 2013.
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