Transport in Kazakhstan
This article needs to be updated.(June 2016)
The vast territory of Kazakhstan spans across 2,700,000 km2 (1,000,000 sq mi). The population density is low in Kazakhstan, and the centers of industry and agriculture are spread out and remote from world markets. Therefore, the need for efficient transportation in Kazakhstan is great.
Kazakhstan is committed to regional infrastructure development. According to the Kazakhstan Ambassador to the U.S., Kairat Umarov, Kazakhstan invested $18 billion in construction of airports, highways, and railroads in 2014.
- 1 Railways
- 2 Rapid transit and tram systems
- 3 Highways
- 4 Pipelines
- 5 Waterways and waterborne transportation
- 6 Ports and harbors
- 7 Airports
- 8 Airlines
- 9 The New Silk Road
- 10 See also
- 11 External links
- 12 References
Total: Railways provide 68% of all cargo and passenger traffic to over 57% of the country. There are 15,333 km (9,527 mi) in common carrier service, excluding industrial lines.
Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ) is the national railway company. KTZ cooperates with French loco manufacturer Alstom in developing Kazakhstan's railway infrastructure. Alstom has more than 600 staff and two joint ventures with KTZ and its subsidiary in Kazakhstan. In July 2017, Alstom opened its first locomotive repairing center in Kazakhstan. It is the only repairing center in Central Asia and the Caucasus.
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 now passes briefly through Russian territory. It also means that routes might not suit modern-day Kazakhstani needs.
Astana Nurly Zhol railway station, the most modern railway station in Kazakhstan, was opened in Astana on May 31, 2017. The opening of the station coincided with the start of the Expo 2017 international exhibition. According to Kazakhstan Railways (KTZ), the 120,000m2 station is expected to be used by 54 trains a day and has capacity to handle 35,000 passengers a day.
- Russia - same gauge (former Soviet Union railway system)
- China - break of gauge 1,520 mm (4 ft 11 27⁄32 in)/1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in); border station at Druzhba, KZ - Alashankou, CN, connection between the Turkestan–Siberia Railway and the Northern Xinjiang Railway (no electrification on them). Another connection is from Altynkol Railway Station near Khorgas to the Jinghe–Yining–Khorgos Railway towards Ürümqi.
- Kyrgyzstan - same gauge (former Soviet Union railway system)
- Uzbekistan - same gauge (former Soviet Union railway system)
- Turkmenistan - same gauge (former Soviet Union railway system) (railway link opened in 2013, presently for freight)
- Caspian Sea - railhead 1,520 mm
The strategy of transport development in Kazakhstan until 2015 is to build 1,600 km (990 mi) of new electrified and 2,700 km (1,700 mi) of existing railway stations.
The Khorgos Gateway dry port is one of Kazakhstan's primary dry ports for handling trans-Eurasian trains, which travel more than 9,000 km between China and Europe. The Khorgos Gateway dry port is surrounded by Khorgos Eastern Gate SEZ that officially commenced operations in December 2016.
- Proposals to eliminate break of gauge at Druzhba-Alashankou by converting the Kazakhstan main line to European gauge.
- BOOT line from Zhetigen to Khorgos on the China border. The line would branch off the existing railway near Shaquanzi.
Towns served by rail
Rapid transit and tram systems
There is a small 8.56 km (5.32 mi) metro system in Almaty. 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.
In May 2011, the construction of the second phase of the Almaty Metro line 1 began. The general contractor is Almatymetrokurylys. Currently more than 300 m (980 ft) of tunnels on the extension project have been excavated. The extension includes five new stations, and will connect the downtown area of Almaty with Kalkaman in the suburbs. Its length will be 8.62 km (5.36 mi).
The construction is divided into three phases. The first phase (the current phase) will be the addition of two stations: Sairan and Moscow, a length of 2.7 km (1.7 mi). For more details see: Almaty Metro.
There was a tram system of 10 lines which operated from 1937 to 2015.
The Astana Metro system is under construction.
The system was opened between 1959 and 1978, and the tram was a popular form of transport in Oskemen/Ust-Kamenogorsk until its closure in 2018. At its peak it had six routes, but in the end it had four routes in operation. It had a fleet of 50 working tram cars.
There is an 86 km (53 mi) tram network, which began service in 1965 with, As of 2012[update], 20 regular and three 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.
There are two tram lines in this city.
Kazakhstan has a road network stretching over 96,000 km (60,000 mi), most of which is in need of modernization and repair. It is, however, notable for containing the easterly terminus of European route E40, which contains the most easterly section of the Euro Route network.
- Total: 189,000 kilometres (117,000 mi) (2002)
- 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 (58,168 mi) which is made up of: paved, 84,100 km (52,300 mi) and unpaved, 9,512 km (5,910 mi) (2008).
Five international routes pass through Kazakhstan, totaling 23,000 km (14,000 mi). These highways are:
- M-36 Highway: Almaty – Astana – Kostanay (continues to Chelyabinsk)
- Almaty – Petropavl to Omsk with the release of[clarification needed]
- M-38 Highway: Almaty - Semey - Pavlodar (continues to Omsk)
- M-39 Highway: Almaty - Shymkent (continues to Tashkent)
- M-32 Highway: Shymkent - Aktobe - Oral (continues to Samara)
In 2009, the country began the construction of the "Western Europe - Western China" highway, which will be completed clarification needed]. The total length of the road will be 8,445 km (5,247 mi), of which 2,787 km (1,732 mi) 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 (75 mph). The project includes a number of 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.[
The motorway 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 to Shchuchinsk. It further continues as the A1 two-lane highway to Kokshetau. Motorway length: 250 km (160 mi).
- A2 - Runs from Almaty to a point past Uzynagash. It further continues as the A2 two-lane highway to Shymkent. Motorway length: 58 km (36 mi).
- A2 - Other four-lane portion runs from Shymkent to Zhibek Zholy, on the border with Uzbekistan. Length: 100 km (62 mi).
- A3 - Runs from Almaty to Kapshagay. It further continues as the A3 two-lane highway to Oskemen. Motorway length: 82 km (51 mi).
Total: 490 km
Condensate, 658 km (409 mi); gas, 12,317 km (7,653 mi); oil, 11,201 km (6,960 mi); refined products, 1,095 km (680 mi); water, 1,465 km (910 mi) (2010)
Waterways and waterborne transportation
Ports and harbors
Total: 119 vessels as of 2017[update]
By type: Four general cargo, ten petroleum tankers, 105 other.
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
- over 3,047 metres (9,997 ft): 10
- 2,438–3,047 metres (7,999–9,997 ft): 25
- 1,524–2,437 metres (5,000–7,995 ft): 16
- 914–1,523 metres (2,999–4,997 ft): 5
- under 914 metres (2,999 ft): 8 (2012)
Airports - with unpaved runways
- over 3,047 metres (9,997 ft): 5
- 2,438–3,047 metres (7,999–9,997 ft): 7
- 1,524–2,437 metres (5,000–7,995 ft): 3
- 914–1,523 metres (2,999–4,997 ft): 5
- under 914 metres (2,999 ft): 13 (2012)
Total: 3 (2012)
European Commission blacklisted all Kazakh carriers in 2009, with a sole exception of Air Astana. Since then, Kazakhstan was consistently taking measures to modernize and revamp its air safety oversight. Thus, in 2016 the European air safety authorities removed all Kazakh airlines from blacklist and there was “sufficient evidence of compliance” with international standards by Kazakh airlines and the Civil Aviation Committee.
Air Astana - most popular Kazakhstani Air operator
Air Astana (Эйр Астана) is the principal airline and the flag carrier of the Republic of Kazakhstan, based in Almaty, Kazakhstan. 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.
Qazaq Air - New airline Qazaq Air was founded in 2015.
Air Astana operates the following destinations (as of April 2009):
- Aktau (Aktau Airport)
- Aktobe (Aktobe Airport)
- Almaty (Almaty International Airport) (Hub)
- Astana (Astana International Airport) (Hub)
- Atyrau (Atyrau Airport)
- Karaganda (Sary-Arka Airport)
- Kostanay (Kostanay Airport)
- Kyzylorda (Kyzylorda Airport)
- Oral (Oral Ak Zhol Airport)
- Oskemen (Oskemen Airport)
- Pavlodar (Pavlodar Airport)
- Petropavl (Petropavl Airport)
- Semey (Semey Airport)
- Shymkent (Shymkent International Airport)
- Zhezkazgan (Zhezkazgan Airport)
- South Korea
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
The New Silk Road
Kazakhstan is actively involved in the New Silk Road initiative, which is an infrastructure project expected to significantly accelerate and reduce the cost of goods delivery from China to Europe through Central Asia.
- Kazakhstan, South Korea to set up bus-assembling JV
- Air Astana website
- Kazakhstan Railways website in English
- Almaty airport details
- Official website for Astana Airport in English
- Unofficial website for Astana Airport in English
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This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook website https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html.