Kazakhstan opened two new lines, Zhezkazgan-Beyneu and Arkalyk-Shubarkol, both of which will strengthen Kazakhstan’s position especially in transit loads by rail.
The Zhezkazgan-Beyneu railway is 988 km long creating a continious corridor in east-west direction. This new line shortens the distance for loads transported from China to Caspian Sea by 1000 km. Although the part between Zhezkazgan and Saksaulskaya may also help China-Europe railway connection via Russia, the complete lines will surely play a key role on the alternative route from China to west via Black Sea. After the completion of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project, planned to open by the end of 2015, Turkey will have an alternative connection via Caspian Sea to Kazakhstan and China, which is called in Turkey as “Iron Silk Road”.
The other new-opened line is Shubarkol – Arkalyk railway, 214 km long in south-north direction. That link provides a connection from central to northern Kazakhstan. That line may be an alternative route to currently used China-Russia-Europe connection via Astana.
According to the head of KTZ, start of the new railroads will not only give an impulse to development of the Central and Western Kazakhstan, but also will increase the transit potential of the trans Kazakhstan transport corridors passing from China in the direction of Russia and further Europe.
Together with the rail connection to Turkmenistan which is going to open in 2015, Aktau, Kazakhstan city at Caspian Sea will be one of the most important railway hub in the region.
Kazakhstan has the target of increasing the throughput and handling capacity of Dostyk, the station at China border, upto 25 million tons by 2015.
Totally 1200 km railway construction had started in 2012, and completed in 2 years.