UTY Talgo 250 Afrosiyob trainset in Bukhara, Uzbekistan

UZBEKISTAN: The German national railway’s DB Engineering & Consulting subsidiary has been awarded a contract to supervise electrification of the 452 km Bukhara – Miskin – Urgench – Khiva line.

This will enable national railway UTY to operate Talgo 250 Afrosiyob trainsets at up to 250 km/h on the route, cutting 2 h from the Bukhara – Khiva journey time to offer a 7 h trip from Toshkent to Khiva.

DB E&C said this would increase capacity, reduce emissions and boost the tourism potential of the country.

The project is scheduled for completion in June 2026. Ridership between Bukhara and Khiva is expected to increase from 280 000 to 1 000 000 passengers/year by 2026, and freight traffic is projected to reach 11·8 million tonnes/year.

The electrification work is being financed using a US$162m, 20-year loan signed by the government and the Asian Development Bank in December 2021.

The inaugural train from Angren to Pap was formed of a Chinese-built O’zbekiston electric locomotive and four coaches, and passed through the tunnel in 16 mins.

DB E&C has already provided construction supervision services for the 19·2 km Qamchik tunnel on the Angren – Pap line which opened in June 2016, electrification of the 325 km Qarshi – Termez route which was completed in January 2018, and expansion of the Toshkent metro including an extension of the Chilonzor Line which opened in December 2020.

Under a co-operation programme launched in 2019, a joint working group formed with the transport ministry and UTY has produced recommendations on how to improve the structure and management of the national railway to increase financial stability, grow freight traffic including on transit corridors, digitalise and boost the competitiveness of rail.