The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $ 162 million loan to electrify 465 kilometers of a railway line connecting major urban centers in western Uzbekistan.

electrification railway

The project will electrify the railway connecting Bukhara, Miskin, Urgench and Khiva, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Khorezm region, reports Railway Supply magazine, citing Uzbekistan Railways.

The electrified section will allow organizing high-speed trains. For example, the travel time between Bukhara and Khiva will be reduced by two hours, and a trip to Khiva from Tashkent will take seven hours.

“Reliable and secure transport infrastructure is a key factor in economic growth, especially in landlocked Uzbekistan,” said ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Yevhen Zhukov. – The ADB project will help create an economic corridor that will connect the rich heritage of the Khorezm region with the rest of Uzbekistan.

Sea and dry ports – a new vector of cooperation

The project is also part of the Central Asian Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Corridor 2 program, which connects China to Europe through Central Asia. By increasing the frequency and quality of rail services, it will help improve communication and trade with neighboring countries.

According to Hidem Iwasami, ADB Director of Transport and Communications in Central and West Asia, the project will have a positive impact not only on tourism, but also on industry and agriculture, and will help Uzbekistan switch to low-carbon transport by switching from diesel trains to electric ones, which will allow the country to fulfill its obligations under the Paris Agreement.

It is expected that after the electrification of the Bukhara-Khiva line, the annual passenger traffic will increase from approximately 280,000 passengers per year to 1,000,000 passengers by 2026. It is projected that by 2026 the volume of freight will reach 11.8 million tons per year.

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