First ever high-speed train will run between Tashkent and Samarkand

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan – Uzbekistan Railways and JSC Uzzheldoropass
announced that the high-speed train, namely Afrosiyob, went on track along the route Tashkent – Samarkand – Tashkent from October 8, 2011.

According to the Uzbekistan Railways, the company has already started selling tickets for the high-speed train, Afrosiyob, that will cover a distance 344 km in two hours. Maximum speed is 250 km per hour. Currently, the high-speed train, “Registan,” cover this same distance in 3.5 hours.

The train officially went on track on October 8, 2011, with first trips scheduled for Wednesday and Saturday. From Tashkent, the train departs at 0655 hours Uzbek time, arriving in the city of Samarkand at 0925. The train departs from Samarkand at 1655 hours Uzbek time and arrives in Tashkent at 1933 hours. The fare for the VIP class will around US$40, firstclass fare will be around US$30.

Total capacity is 257 persons. The train will have 2 electric head engines, 8-passenger cars, and 1 dining car. There are places in the train for VIP class, first class, and economic, there are special conditions for disabled people and people with disabilities.

The contract is worth 38 million euros. Uzbekistan Railways financed 50% of the contract value on the acquisition of the high-speed passenger trains. The remaining 50% was financed by a loan from the Fund for Reconstruction and Development of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and refinanced by the National Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan for 10 years, including a grace period – 2 years at an interest rate of 2% per annum, including the refinancing of the bank margin of 0.25%.