Tashkent–Samarkand high-speed rail line

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.[1]. 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.[2]

Tashkent–Samarkand High speed Railway
Hi-speed trains Afrosiyab (Uzbekistan)
Afrosiyob high-speed train
TypeHigh-speed railway
SystemUzbekistan Railways
StatusPassenger service
TerminiTashkent Railway Station, Tashkent
Samarkand Railway Station, Samarkand
Opened8 October 2011
OwnerUzbekistan Railways
Operator(s)Uzbekistan Railways
Rolling stockTalgo 250
Line length344 km (214 mi)
Track gauge1,520 mm (4 ft 11 2732 in) Russian gauge
Operating speed250 km/h


Tashkent Railway Station
Tashkent Main Railway Station

Construction began on the line on 11 March 2011, with completion planned for later that year at a cost of approximately US$70 million.[3][4] The line includes both new and rebuilt trackage, as well as adding modern signaling systems to the route.[5] 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.[4] 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.[5] The line was planned to open for commercial operation in September 2011,[6] but suffered from delays.[7]


Hi-speed trains Afrosiyab (Uzbekistan) 3
Inside Afrosiyob train

Two trainsets for operation on the line were ordered in November 2009 from Talgo at a cost of 38 million[4][8] 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.[5] The first trainset, a Talgo 250, was delivered to Tashkent on 22 July 2011.[8][9] Each trainset consists of two power cars, eight passenger cars with a capacity of 257 people and a dining car.[8] The second trainset arrived in Tashkent on 9 December 2011.[10] The train carried out its first trip from Tashkent to Samarkand on 26 August 2011.[11][12]

Commercial service started on 8 October 2011 twice a week under the brand Afrosiyob.[13][14] Initially, total travel time was still more than two and half-hours[15] but services were upgraded to five times a week in January 2012,[16] and daily services started from 13 February 2012.[17] The travel time has been reduced to 2:08 hours as of 10 February 2013. [18]

Further extensions

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.[19]


Routes as of 31 august 2019:


  1. ^ http://podrobno.uz/cat/economic/zapushchena-eshche-odna-vysokoskorostnaya-liniya-tashkent-karshi-put-zaymet-vsego-3-chasa-/
  2. ^ http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/passenger/single-view/view/talgo-250-reaches-bukhara.html
  3. ^ "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.
  4. ^ a b c "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.
  5. ^ a b c "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.
  6. ^ "Uzbekistan receives first high-speed train from Spain". Railway Insider. Archived from the original on August 1, 2011. Retrieved August 1, 2011.
  7. ^ Uzbekistan’s high-speed trains said to lack suitable tracks
  8. ^ a b c "Talgo 250 arrives in Toshkent". Railway Gazette International. July 26, 2011. Archived from the original on August 1, 2011. Retrieved August 1, 2011.
  9. ^ First high-speed Talgo electricity train arrives in Tashkent, 24 July 2011
  10. ^ "Второй электропоезд Afrosiyob прибыл в Ташкент (фото)" (in Russian). Gazeta.uz. December 10, 2011.
  11. ^ Uzdaily: First high-speed electricity train carries out first trip from Samarkand and Tashkent, 27 August 2011
  12. ^ Uzbekistan Launches High Speed Tashkent-Smarkand Rail Line, September 08 2011
  13. ^ ГАЖК «Ўзбекистон темир йўллари», ОАО «Узжелдоропасс» оъявляет, что началась продажа проездных документов на высокоскоростной поезд «Afrosiyob»
  14. ^ High-speed Afrosiyob train starts to run between Tashkent and Samarkand, 6 October 2011
  15. ^ Uzbekistan Today: 2.5 Hours to Samarqand
  16. ^ High-speed train Afrosiyob to run five times a week. UzDaily.com. 24 January 2012
  17. ^ High-speed train Afrosiyob to run seven times a week. UzDaily.com. 13 February 2012
  18. ^ "Поездка в Самарканд на поезде Afrosiyob теперь занимает два часа" (in Russian). Gazeta.uz. February 12, 2013.
  19. ^ https://www.railwaygazette.com/news/news/asia/single-view/view/uzbekistan-orders-more-talgo-250-trainsets.html

External links

High-speed rail in Uzbekistan

High speed rail in Uzbekistan currently consists of 600 km of track and services using Talgo 250 equipment, branded Afrosiyob by operator Uzbekistan Railways, on upgraded conventional lines. All HSR lines have been built using upgraded lines on Russian gauge. Other regional railways exist. The country currently has two interoperated lines:

Tashkent–Samarkand high-speed rail line, opened 2011 using HSR capable trains while upgrading taking over 2.5 hours, in 2013 the 344km route full commercial speed taking 2 hours and 8 minutes.

Samarkand-Bukhara high-speed rail line, opened Aug 2016, extension of the first line, 256 km taking 1 hour 12 minutes, or from Tashkent 3 hours and 20 minutes.

Services from Tashkent to Almaty, Kazakhstan have been steadily improving from the Soviet era 30 hours to 16.5 hours as of 2017.. There is also a 1.5 hour customs stop at the border (included?). The service uses Tulpar-Talgo equipment of joined Uzbek-Kazakh rail cars. Similarly, the route from Almaty to the Chinese HSR rail head at Urumqi has been upgraded to 8 hours (change of gauge), qualifying as a higher-speed rail link. Chinese may be looking to develop the entire Urumqi and Tashkent segment into a full speed HSR line due to Belt and Road, but as of 2017 this is far from certain. There is also a track gauge difference that effectively prevents high speed usage of current Uzbek HSR by China.

List of high-speed railway lines

This article provides a list of operated high-speed rail networks, listed by country or region.

High-speed rail is public transport by rail at speeds of at least 200 km/h (120 mph) for upgraded track and 250 km/h (160 mph) or faster for new track.

Rail transport in Uzbekistan

Rail transport in Uzbekistan. As of March 2017, the total length of Uzbekistan's main railway network is 4,669 km (2,446 km of which is electrified). A large percentage of the system’s track requires major repair. The main line is the portion of the Transcaspian Railroad that connects Tashkent with the Amu Darya. There are rail links with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan (see Trans-Caspian Railway), Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan. Suburban traffic only exists around Tashkent.

Samarkand–Bukhara high-speed rail line

The Samarkand–Bukhara high-speed rail line is actually a 256 km continuation of services from Tashkent–Samarkand high-speed rail line rather than a separately operated line, after upgrading. Before opening in 2016, the line was merely a section that operated to Khiva and was not capable of using the same equipment as the first HSR line. However, the two are now interoptible, but further services to Khiva require boarding an ordinary regional train.

The HSR line, also branded Afrosiyob by operator Uzbekistan Railways, to Bukhara ran on Talgo 250 has run to Bukhara for the first time on August 25 2016. Tashkent to Bukhara services (seamlessly on both lines), 600 km, will now take 3 hours and 20 minutes instead of 7 hours.


Tashkent (; Uzbek: Toshkent, Тошкент, تاشكینت‎, [tɒʃˈkent]) is the capital and largest city of Uzbekistan, as well as the most populated city in ex-Soviet Central Asia with a population in 2018 of 2,485,900. It is located in the north-east of the country close to the Kazakhstan border. Much of the city was destroyed in the 1966 Tashkent earthquake, though it was rebuilt afterwards as a model Soviet city.

Tashkent was influenced by the Sogdian and Turkic cultures in its early history, before Islam in the 8th century AD. After its destruction by Genghis Khan in 1219, the city was rebuilt and profited from the Silk Road. From 18th to 19th century, the city became an independent city-state, before being re-conquered by the Khanate of Kokand. In 1865, it fell to the Russian Empire, and became the capital of Russian Turkestan. In Soviet times, Tashkent witnessed major growth and demographic changes due to forced deportations from throughout the Soviet Union.

Today, as the capital of an independent Uzbekistan, Tashkent retains a multi-ethnic population, with ethnic Uzbeks as the majority. In 2009, the city celebrated its 2,200 years of written history.

Timeline of Tashkent

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Transport in Uzbekistan

As of 2007, Uzbekistan's overland transportation infrastructure declined significantly in the post-Soviet era due to low investment and poor maintenance. Air transport was the only branch that received substantial government investment in the early 2000s, as airport modernization projects were undertaken. In the following years, improvements have been made to the surface transport network including the construction of the Tashkent–Samarkand high-speed rail line.

Tashkent Metro
Afrosiyob HSR
Uzbek Railways
Tourist rail/Named
BSicon BUS.svg Bus
Major terminals


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