As part of the vice-chairmanship of the Asia-Pacific region chaired by KTZ, JSC Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, a UIC delegation led by Vincent Vu, UIC Coordinator for Asia Pacific, was tasked with strengthening links with the most important railways in Central Asia concerning UIC activities. Received at KTZ headquarters in Astana by Mr Serik Tolebayev, Chief Engineer of KTZ and by the departments involved in human resources, standardisation and passenger activities, the delegation reported on the progress of all the global actions of UIC where involvement of KTZ is highly expected. Particular attention was given to the role of KTZ in the Asia-Pacific region as an active member co-chairing the action plan to conduct from 2015.
During the same days as the conference, the new Zhezkazgan-Beyneu and Arkalyk-Shubarkol line was commissioned. The total length of the lines is 1 202 km:
- Zhezkazgan-Beyneu – 988 km, new inter-stations: 43
- Arkalyk-Shubarkol – 214 km, new inter-stations: 5
More information on this new line is available in the article provided by KTZ in the section below “News from UIC Members”.
One of the objectives of the visit was to present the Standardisation project to KTZ management and to settle the problems of UIC-OSJD relations towards the Working Group. For this subject, UIC was represented by Mr Vytautas Kinderis, UIC-CEN & PTU Coordinator.
Thanks to well organised meetings the UIC team met the decision makers:
- Mr Serik Tolebayev, KTZ Executive Director & Chief Engineer who is also Chairman of the Standardisation committee MTK 524 dealing with all standardisation subjects in Kazakhstan,
- Mr Zhaksybaj Ismailov, the Head of Technical Department of KTZ and his staff,
- Other Heads of related departments including Mrs Alia Dzhumabayeva who actively participated in Vilnius while discussing UIC-OSJD working Group.
Mr Tolebayev showed great interest while discussing the Standardisation Platform concept, he instructed the Technical Department to learn more and to be in tune with the development of the Project. Mr Kinderis was honoured to receive a personal invitation to continue the collaboration directly with him on this subject.
During the discussion on implementation of IRS, Mr Kinderis was reminded that UIC (Standardisation Platform) needs to provide the OSJD Committee with the written replay to the questions which were included into the Protocol of General Directors Conference in North Korea.
Another objective of this conference was to present the MERITS-PRIFIS activities for the UIC members.
Mr Marc Guigon, Senior Advisor Passenger Transport at UIC headquarters presented these activities.
Merits is the central timetable database of UIC with all train data and all station data within wider Europe, including Russia, Ukraine and Turkey. Prifis is also a central database of UIC which contains all tariffs and fares for Non Integrated Tickets (NRT) and Integrated Reservation Tickets (IRT). All these databases are shared between all the members of the Merits-Prifis community in order to fill their own journey planners with the aim of providing timetable/fare information and/or selling tickets in another country.
The issues linked to KTZ joining the MERITS-PRIFIS community are:
- KTZ can give information and/or sell tickets for journeys in other countries
- Other railway undertakings can sell tickets for KTZ trains
- KTZ can be positioned as a supplier of IT software solutions: journey planner, APPs.
Then Mr Marc Guigon had a meeting with Mr Assylkhan Kaldykozov, member of the board, executive director of strategic development and introduction of new technologies, to discuss the issues of joining the MERITS-PRIFIS community.
Mr Marc Guigon, who is also involved in the topic railway stations at UIC, visited Astana railway station.
After the establishment of Akmolinskaya oblast with the centre in Akmola town and with the construction of the Akmolinsk-Kartaly railway line in 1939, the town has became a big traffic hub within the country.
A large multifunctional railway station was built in 1961, and in 1990 the railway station complex expanded through the construction of a new station. Today the complex consists of two buildings, the total area of which is 11 174 m2.
The full repair of an “old” building was carried out in 1998.
After the reconstruction of the new building, the simultaneous capacity of the railway station increased by 300 seats and holds 1800 passengers.
In terms of capacity the railway station holds 14 700 passengers per day, with 7500 passenger departures.
The arrival and departure of passenger trains take place on three tracks of the main park at Astana station in four directions:
- Astana – Zolotaya sopka with an exit to South-Ural rail road (Chelyabinsk)
- Astana – Petropavlovsk with an exit to South-Ural rail road (Sverdlovks)
- Astana – Kulunda with an exit to West-Siberian rail road (Pavlodar)
- Astana – Moyinty-Sayak with an exit to Kyrgyzstan and China
94 (47 pairs) trains, including 22 suburban (11 pairs) trains depart and arrive from/at Astana station.
Finally, KTZ showed its special skills as part of the training of its personnel (160,000) in a centre equipped with the most advanced technologies for training, developed in partnership with equipment manufacturers and European and North American railways, and in direct contact with the manufacturing and maintenance factories of rolling stock and infrastructure located on the site. This experience could, in many respects, illustrate the expertise and the technological advance of the railways of Kazakhstan and the way they collaborate internationally. More than ever, UIC has made a commitment to KTZ experts to participate in working groups to come, including standardisation and MERITS / PRIFIS as well as in the next workshop on signals and switches and in Tokyo from 22 to 23 October 2014.