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Alstom Prima M4 electric locomotive in Kazakhstan, source: Alstom

Kazakhstan will electrify over 1,000 kilometres of tracks

Kazakhstan intends to electrify two railway main lines with a total length of around 1,033 kilometres. It will allow Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (Kazakhstan Railways) to increase the train speed and reduce the costs. The works will be performed in 2021-2025.

The electric power will be provided on the Moyynty – Aktogay (522.4 kilometres) railway in northwestern Kazakhstan and the Tobol – Nikeltau (510.3 kilometres) line in the eastern part of the country. Two electrification projects are the part of the state development programme Nurly Zhol (‘Bright Path’ in Kazakh).

The works will be carried out by Temir Zhol Electrification. This company was established in 2011 by Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (Kazakhstan Railways) and Siemens Mobility as the joint venture. In 2017 Kazakhstan Railways sold its share to the unknown investor.

Electrification in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan operates the railway network with a length of around 16,000 kilometres. However, only 40 per cent of them is electrified. Most of the electrified lines are situated in the northern, central and southern Kazakhstan. The western and eastern parts of the country are served by the diesel locomotives.

To meet with the electrification plans, Kazakhstan Railways ordered 295 new electric locomotives (200 freight and 95 passenger units) from Alstom. The French manufacturer has supplied to Kazakhstan 50 freight locomotives (type Prima T8 ‘KZ8A’) and 20 passenger locomotives (type Prima M4 ‘KZ4AT’). Since May the passenger electric locomotives are being produced at the EKZ plant in Kazakhstan, a subsidiary of Alstom.

Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko is editor of online trade magazines RailTech.com and RailFreight.com.

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