The third cross-border railway port will be built between China and Kazakhstan. The facility will be located between Xinjiang Baktu port in Tacheng and the Abai region in Kazakhstan, north of the two existing rail ports between the countries. It is reported by Railway Supply magazine with reference to RailFreight.


The two countries were discussing the possibility of opening a third rail port earlier this year, but had not disclosed its location until then. It is not clear what the time frame for the project is. However, the urgency of additional capacity at the border was recognized.

At present, rail freight traffic between China and Kazakhstan is mainly carried out through the border ports of Alashankou-Dostyk and the dry port of Khorgos Rail, which is the southernmost terminal on the border. Today, rail freight traffic is roughly evenly distributed between ports.

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However, the two terminals are often overloaded. As for trains between Europe and China, they account for 90% of all traffic, and there are also regional rail freight traffic. Since Eurasian traffic takes precedence over regional traffic, the latter is endangered in case of congestion at the border.

The lack of capacity at the border is a known problem, and over the years a solution has been found in expanding the capacity of existing terminals. The dry port of Khorgos Gateway in Kazakhstan this year put into operation a new set of 1435 mm gauge railway tracks. Due to the new tracks, the terminal capacity has increased from 9-10 trains per day to 19-20 trains per day.

Similarly, Kazakhstan has significantly increased the capacity of the railway port of Dostyk from 2021. In May this year, the second stage of a new transshipment station at the Dostyk railway port was put into operation, and the annual transshipment volume increased from 160,000 TEU to 320,000 TEU

The Chinese government was already planning to build a third railway port when it was developing the China-Europe Railway Construction and Development Plan (2016-2020). In 2019, the Karamai-Tacheng railway line was opened, marking the beginning of the third cross-border canal.

China is the largest trading partner of Kazakhstan. Over the past 30 years, the volume of trade between the two countries has increased by more than 70 times and reached $25.2 billion in 2021. From January to September of this year, the volume of trade reached 23.2 billion US dollars and increased by 22.5 percent.

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