High-speed rail in Kazakhstan

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Tulpar Talgo express train to Almaty.


Qazaqstan Temir Zholy, the national rail company of Kazakhstan, has awarded a contract to oversee the design and construction of a high-speed line from Astana (the country's capital) to Almaty (its largest city).[1][2] The line is expected to be 1,011 km (628 mi) long, and will travel via Karaganda and Balkhash.[1][2] A 10 km (6.2 mi) viaduct across Lake Balkhash is planned near Sayaq.[1][2] The trains are expected by be built by Tulpar-Talgo (a joint venture established in 2011 between Qazaqstan Temir Zholy and Spanish company Talgo[3]), and will have a maximum speed of 250 km/h (155 mph), completing the trip in five and a half hours.[1][2] The system will use Russian gauge, the same as used by Kazakhstan's existing conventional lines.[1][2] However, in 2013 the project was postponed due to high cost, and since the passenger number were doubted, since many would fly anyway when the trains take over five hours.[4]


In 2015, a Russian Railways official said that the Moscow-Beijing HSR line would pass through either Russia's Altai Republic or Kazakhstan. The difference in length between the two proposed routes would be 290 km (180 miles).[5]