Information published on 8 January 2013 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 327.

Kazakhstan: train operations begin on second China - Kazakhstan rail link

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Kazakhstan and China have started to operate a new railway crossing from Altynkol (RK) - Korgas (China). JSC "NC “KTZ” has completed part of the railway line from Zhetygen-Altynkol in the territory of Kazakhstan in 2011. Thus, the railway map of Eurasia has an additional transit route from China to Europe via Kazakhstan, significantly enhancing rail traffic and logistics.

The opening ceremony of the Altynkol-Korgas site was held in the border area with the President of KTZ Askar Mamin and Chief of Urumqi Railway Tan Shishen. Mr Mamin called the opening of international communications via the crossing an important event to Kazakhstan and China. He also noted that at present trade turnover between the two countries has risen to a record $ 25 billion. Rail freight plays an important role in meeting the needs of our economies, he says.

So far there has only been one rail gateway – Dostyk-Alashankou railway station (on the Kazakh-Chinese border) – between Kazakhstan and China. Since the start of operations in 1991 it has carried more than 156 million tonnes of cargo. However, the capacity of the first transition was limited and requires an alternative site. The potential of the new line which was built in record time is very high and is dictated by the dynamic pace of economic development of neighbouring countries. The crossing is expected to handle around 10 million tonnes initially, with a target of 15 million tonnes by 2020.

The length of the railway line from Zhetygen-Altynkol is 293 km. The road is of great economic and social importance and is part of the transport-logistics hub that is under construction in east Kazakhstan. The hub includes the “Korgas International Cross-Border Cooperation Centre, the industrial zone, as well as the world-class Western Europe-Western China motorway and other logistics units. The line has five stations and nine junctions, over 260 facilities, and infrastructure and housing have been built. The introduction of the new railway section will create 2055 new jobs.

(Source: KTZ)