Kazakhstan Expands Railway Network to China, Boosting Freight Capacity by 20 Million Tons

Kazakhstan has embarked on the construction of a new railway to China, responding to the directive of Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev aimed at enhancing the nation’s transport and transit capabilities.

The Bakhty-Ayagoz railway line, part of this ambitious project, includes plans for the establishment of a third border crossing with China, Bakhty – Chuguchak.

This development is anticipated to elevate the throughput capacity between Kazakhstan and China from 28 to approximately 48 million tons, alleviating congestion at southern checkpoints and attracting additional transit volumes. The double-track railway is slated to become operational in 2027.

Implemented through a public-private partnership (PPP), the extensive project involves the participation of a private investor. The construction phase will witness the creation of 11 stations, 47 bridges, 23 railway and 8 road overpasses, 5 pedestrian bridges, and 16 observation structures. The endeavor includes the procurement of over 500 thousand units of sleepers and 36 tons of rails from domestic manufacturers, with an expected local content of at least 85%.

Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov emphasized that despite geopolitical challenges and infrastructure restrictions, last year witnessed the highest cargo volume in 30 years of Kazakhstan’s independence, totaling 245 billion tons/kilometer. Transit container traffic has tripled over the past five years, prompting the expansion of existing transit corridors and the emergence of new ones.

To address the resulting strain on throughput and infrastructure capacities, various railway infrastructure projects have been initiated. Construction commenced last November on the second tracks of the Dostyk-Moyynty section, and this year marked the beginning of work on a new railway bypassing Almaty and the Darbaza – Maktaaral railway line. The plan is to build over 1,300 km of railways within three years.

Smailov noted that the Bakhty-Ayagoz project will generate over 1,700 jobs and contribute positively to the economy of the Abay region and the entire country. It is also expected to accelerate the integration of Kazakhstan’s railway network into the global transport system.

Deputy Chairman of the Board of NC KTZ JSC, Kanat Almagambetov, emphasized that the new railway line will amplify Kazakh exports and enhance the transit of goods between Russia and China. The construction of a double-track line ensures immediate sufficient capacity and promises an additional influx of transit cargo, catalyzing the development of nearby territories.

The event commemorating the project’s initiation was attended by officials from the Abay region akimat, the Ministry of Transport, Samruk-Kazyna JSC, NC KTZ JSC, along with current employees and industry veterans.




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