Transport in Kazakhstan

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For transport in the Soviet Union, see Transport in the Soviet Union.

The vast territory of Kazakhstan spans across 2.7 million km ². With a low population density, dissociation centers of industry and agriculture, and remoteness from world markets, the need for different modes of transportation in Kazakhstan are vital.

Kazakhstan is committed to regional infrastructure development.[1] According to Kazakhstan Ambassador to the U.S. Kairat Umarov, in 2014 Kazakhstan invested $18 billion to construct more airports, highways, and railroads.[1]


Main article: Qazaqstan Temir Zholy

Total: Transportation by rail in Kazakhstan is very important. Kazakhstan Railways provide 68% of all cargo and passenger traffic to over 57% of the country. 15,333 km[2] in common carrier service, excluding industrial lines.

Broad Gauge: 15,333 km of 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 2732 in) gauge (4,000 km electrified) (2012)[2]

Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ) is the national railway company.

As the Kazakhstani rail system was designed during the Soviet era rail routes were designed ignoring intersoviet borders and to the needs of Soviet planning. This has caused anamolies such as the route from Ural'sk to Aktobe briefly now passing through Russian territory. It also means routes might not now suit modern day Kazakhstani needs.

Railway links with adjacent countries[edit]

The strategy of transport development in Kazakhstan until 2015 will be built 1600 km of new electrified and 2700 km of existing railway stations.





  • Proposals to eliminate break of gauge at Druzhba-Alashankou by converting Kazakhstan main line to European gauge.


Towns served by rail[edit]

Rapid Transit and Tram Systems[edit]


There is a small 8.56 km metro system in Almaty. A second and third metro lines are planned in the future. The second line would intersect with the first line at Alatau and Zhibek Zholy stations.[5]

In May 2011 the construction of the second phase of the Almaty Metro line 1 commenced. The general contractor of construction is Almatymetrokurylys. Currently more than 300 metres of tunnels on the extension project have been excavated.The extension includes 5 new stations and will connect downtown area of Almaty with Kalkaman in the suburbs. Its length will be 8.62 km.[6]

The building is divided into 3 phases. The first phase,(current phase), will be the addition of two stations: Sairan and Moscow, a length of 2.7 km.[6] For more details see: Almaty Metro.

There is still a tram system which opened in 1937. However, with the metro construction, 8 of the 10 lines were closed and now there are only 2 lines. They total 23 km.[7]


The Astana Metro system is under construction.

It's been a long time coming and the project was abandoned at one point in 2013 ([8]) but an agreement was signed on 7 May 2015 for the project to go ahead. [9]


The system was opened between 1959 and 1978 and the tram is a popular form of transport in Oskemen/Ust-Kamenogorsk. At its peak it had 6 routes, but now has 4 routes in operation. It has a fleet of 50 working tram cars.[10]


There is an 86 km tram network, which began service in 1965 with, as of 2012, 20 regular and 3 special routes. The network has a 60% share of the local public transport market. Its fleet of 115 trams are due to be replaced and in 2012 the city announced plans to purchase 100 new trams.[11]


There are 2 tram lines in this city.[12]


Al-Farabi street, Almaty, Esentai Tower
  • Total: 189,000 kilometres (117,000 mi) (2002)[13]
  • Paved: 108,100 km (67,200 mi) (2002)
  • Unpaved: 80,900 km (50,300 mi) (2002)

It is stated in the CIA Factbook that Kazakhstan has a total road network of 93,612 km which is made up of: paved: 84,100 km and unpaved: 9,512 km. (2008).[2]

As of May 2011, in Kazakhstan there were 3,264,400 registered cars.[14] Kazakhstan has a road network stretching over 96,000 km, most of which is in need of modernization and repair.

Five international road routes pass through Kazakhstan, totaling 23,000 kilometers. These highways are:

In 2009, the country commenced the construction of the "Western Europe - Western China" highway, which will be completed by 2013. The total length of the road will be 8445 km, of which 2,787 km will be in Kazakhstan, (Aktobe, Kyzylorda, South Kazakhstan, Zhambyl and Almaty oblasts). The thickness of the asphalt and concrete pavement will be 80 cm (31 in), and the expected lifespan of the highway will be 25 years, without a major overhaul, and the maximum speed limit 120 km/h. The project includes a number of road bridges over rivers, road maintenance facilities, bus stop areas, avtopavilony, cattle trails, and electronic signage. Simultaneously with the construction of this highway, roads will be repaired and built in areas along its route.[15][16][17]


The motorways network in Kazakhstan is rather underdeveloped, mainly due to the low population density in the country, which doesn't require wider roads on long distances. The following are the only existing multi-lane, double carriage roads in Kazakhstan:

  • A1 - Runs from Astana until Shchuchinsk. It further continues as the A1 two-lane highway to Kokshetau. Motorway length: 250 km.
  • A2 - Runs from Almaty to a point past Uzynagash. It further continues as the A2 two-lane highway to Shymkent. Motorway length: 58 km.
  • A2 - Other four-lane portion runs from Shymkent until Zhibek Zholy, on the border with Uzbekistan. Length: 100 km.
  • A3 - Runs from Almaty until Kapshagay. It further continues as the A3 two-lane highway to Oskemen. Motorway length: 82 km.

Total: 490 km


Condensate 658 km; gas 12,317 km; oil 11,201 km; refined products 1,095 km; water 1,465 km (2010)[2]

Waterways and Waterborne Transportation[edit]

4,000 km on the Syrdariya (Syr Darya)(80%) and Ertis (Irtysh) rivers.(2010)[2]

Ports and harbors[edit]

Caspian Sea[edit]

On rivers[edit]

Merchant Marine[edit]

Total: 11 By type: cargo 1, petroleum tanker 8, refrigerated cargo 1, specialized tanker 1

foreign-owned: 3 (Austria 1, Ireland 1, Turkey 1) (2010)[2]


Kazakhstan has a total of 97 airports (2012)[2] However, it is quoted as having a total of 449 airports in (2001)[13]

The large area of the country and the associated long distances makes air travel a very important component in domestic travel.

Airports - with paved runways[edit]

total: 64[2]

  • over 3,047 m: 10
  • 2,438 to 3,047 m: 25
  • 1,524 to 2,437 m: 16
  • 914 to 1,523 m: 5
  • under 914 m: 8 (2012)

Airports - with unpaved runways[edit]

total: 33[2]

  • over 3,047 m: 5
  • 2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
  • 1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
  • 914 to 1,523 m: 5
  • under 914 m: 13 (2012)


Total: 3 (2012)[2]


Air Astana - most popular Kazakhstani Air operator

Main article: Air Astana

Air Astana (Эйр Астана) is the principal airline and the flag carrier of the Republic of Kazakhstan, based in Almaty, Kazakhstan.[18] It operates scheduled domestic and international services on 56 routes from its main hub, Almaty International Airport, and from its 2 secondary hubs, Astana International Airport and Atyrau Airport. It is a joint venture between Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund Samruk-Kazyna (51%), and BAE Systems PLC (49%). It was incorporated in October 2001 and started commercial flights on 15 May 2002. At the 2012 World Airline Awards held at Farnborough Airshow in the UK, Air Astana was named the Best Airline in Central Asia & India.[19]

Qazaq Air - New airline Qazaq Air is a new airline,


Air Astana operates the following destinations (as of April 2009):

Air Astana Boeing 757 aircraft at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand
Air Astana Airbus-320 aircraft at Aktau Airport

Domestic (Kazakhstan)[edit]



See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "A Conversation with H.E. Kairat Umarov, Ambassador of Kazakhstan" (PDF). 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j CIA: The World Factbook
  3. ^ ENRC to develop and operate the Zhetigen-Khorgos railway line between Kazakhstan and China | International Mining
  4. ^ KAZAKHSTAN - Temir Zholy
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b Алматыметро :: Главная страница
  7. ^ Subways and Trams In Kazakstan: Almaty's Metro
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Усть-Каменогорский трамвай :: Введение
  11. ^ Pavlodar
  12. ^ | главный сайт Темиртау
  13. ^ a b Transportation - Kazakhstan - infrastructure
  14. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Западная Европа - Западный Китай Международный Транзитный коридор
  18. ^ "Head Office." Air Astana. Retrieved on 21 December 2010. "Registered office 4A, Zakarpatskaya Street, Almaty, 050039, Kazakhstan"
  19. ^ "Air Astana named Best Airline in Central Asia & India". The Gazette of Central Asia (Satrapia). 17 July 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the CIA World Factbook.