Trains in Uzbekistan

Introduction (Do, 01 Mär 2007)
Last update: 2015-11-22   Uzbekistan has many things to offer for tourists. The towns on the ancient Silk Road are famous: Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva. Uzbekistan railways offer a comfortable, reliable and cheap way to explore the touristic highlights of the country. Alltough shared-taxis and buses often provide a more frequent means of transportation, I recommend to travel by train. Several new express trains have been introduced since 2004. Since 2012 Spanish-built highspeed trains (called "Afrosiab") are operatring between Tashkent and Samarkand at top speeds of 250 km/h. In 2015 the service was extended to Karshi, and probably in 2016 or 2017 these trains will also run to Bukhara (Tashkent - Samarkand - Bukhara). -------------- Some photos of the "Afrosiab"-train, taken from http://www.parovoz.com/newgallery/?LNG=EN: Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us -------------- MAIN SERVICES Tashkent - Samarkand is served by 2 daily highspeed-trains, which cover the 350 km long route in just 2h10min. One of these trains continues beyond Samarkand to Karshi. In addition there is a daily (twice daily on fridays and sundays) express train Tashkent - Samarkand - Bukhara (named "Sharq"). Travel time Tashkent - Bukhara (~600 km) is about 6,5 hours. The trips Tashkent - Bukhara and Bukhara - Samarkland take just over 3 hrs each. Tashkent - Bukhara can also be done by overnight train. A daily overnight train offers the possibility to travel during the night and win one day. Comfortable sleeping cars allow a good sleep. Overnight trains also run from Tashkent and Samarkand to Urgench (daily) and to Nukus - Kungrad (3 times weekly), so it's also possible to travel to Khiva (30 kilometers from Urgench, taxi/bus available) or to the Aral lake (Moynaq, 70 km from Kungrad) by train. ROUND TRIPS I have also included some suggestions for round-trips by train: Tashkent - Bukhara - Samarkand - Khiva - Tashkent in 9 days Tashkent - Samarkand - Bukhara - Tashkent in 7 days More details about round-trips INTERNATIONAL TRAINS International trains are available to Almaty in Kazakhstan, Moscow, Saratov, Volgograd, Ufa, St. Peterburg, Novosibirsk in Russia (so you can link to the Transsiberian railway). From Almaty connecting trains are provided to Urumchi in China. With only one change of trains in Moscow you can travel overland from Central and Western Europe (Berlin, Paris, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Helsinki, etc.) to Tashkent and v.v.. More details about international trains With this website I want to make it easier for tourists to use rail services in Usbekistan. I myself travelled by train through Usbekistan and it was a great experience. I hope you like the website. It is still under construction, and if you find a mistake or have any idea to improve something, please feel free to contact me: helmut.uttenthaler@gmx.at Helmut Uttenthaler Vienna - Austria kostenloser Counter Poker Blog Weblog counter
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Route map (Mi, 28 Feb 2007)
A great online map of railways in the former USSR ist the supermap at http://www.parovoz.com/maps/supermap/index-e.html. Click to enlarge the maps: Western part of Uzbekistan: Central part of Uzbekistan: Eastern part of Uzbekistan: A short legend: Red (single-track) and green (double-track) lines have passenger trains. Blue lines have only freight trains. Yellow lines are planned lines or lines under construction. Click here for a more comprehensive legend
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Photos (Mi, 28 Feb 2007)
This site contains photos of various trains and stations in Uzbekistan. If you want to use one of the photos for your website or anything else, please contact me: helmut.uttenthaler@gmx.at TRAINS Highspeed train "Afrosiyob" (Tashkent - Samarkand - Tashkent) (photo courtesy: Anthony Peacock) (photo courtesy: Anthony Peacock) Express train no. 1/2 "Registon" (Tashkent - Samarkand - Tashkent) Express train no. 9/10 "Sharq" (Tashkent - Bukhara - Tashkent) Night train no. 661/662 (Tashkent - Bukhara) Night train no. 55/56 (Tashkent - Urgench) International train no. 331/332 (Tashkent - Saratov) International train no. 381/382 (Tashkent - Ufa) Local train at Tashkent Local train no. 6110 (Samarkand - Bukhara) at Samarkand Local train no. 6312 (Samarkand - Karshi) at Samarkand STATIONS Tashkent Samarkand Bukhara Urgench Turtgul Nukus Kungrad Navoj
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Tickets and fares (Mi, 28 Feb 2007)
Last update: 2015-11-22 Tickets can be bought at the railway stations. In some towns there are also special agencies selling railway tickets. At bigger stations ticketing is computer-based, but in smaller stations tickets are issued manually. Tickets for long distance trains can usually be bought 45 days in advance. However, for boarding at intermediate stations tickets sometimes can only be bought on the day of departure. Uzbek railways offer an online reservation for tickets at http://www.uzrailpass.uz/main.cgi?lan=e&section=14. I haven't tried it yet, but if you have 1st hand experience with that service, it would be nice if you left a comment here or wrote me an e-mail to share this information. The Afrosiab-highspeed train and other daytime express trains (e.g. 9/10 "Sharq", running between Tashkent and Samarkand) have comfortiable seats in different classes: Afrosiab-trains: Economy, Business and VIP class. Other daytime express trains: 1st and 2nd class. Overnight-trains have up to four categories: spalnyj vagon (SV) - sleeping car with 2-bed-compartments, 18 places per carriage kupe (K) - sleeping car with 4-bed-compartments, 36 places per carriage plazkartnyj (P) - open "dormitory-style" couchette car, 54 place per carriage obshchyj (O) - same as plazkartnyj, but more people in one carriage, 81 places per carriage SV and O might not be available on all trains. K and P are the default-categories, which are always available. Ticket prices depend on the type of train and the category. The ticket price is the same for foreigners as for local people. Payment is in local currency (UZS). Current ticket prices (in UZS) can be found out here. Fur currency conversion rates see http://www.oanda.com/currency/converter// Some fare example: Tashkent - Samarkand by Afrosiab train: Economy class: ~17 EUR Business class: ~24 EUR VIP class: ~34 EUR Tashkent - Bukhara overnight train: SV-class:  ~45 EUR Kupe-class: ~25 EUR Plazkartnyj-class: ~17 EUR Obshchyj-class: ~10 EUR Tashkent - Urgench overnight train: SV-class:  ~75 EUR Kupe-class: ~40 EUR Plazkartnyj-class: ~27 EUR Obshchyj-class: not available Tickets of my trip in 2005: Ticket Tashkent - Samarkand: Ticket Samarkand - Bukhara: Ticket Bukhara - Navoj: Ticket Navoj - Urgench: Ticket Turtgul - Atyrau (Kazakhstan):
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Links (Mi, 28 Feb 2007)
RAILWAY INFORMATION Official website of the Uzbek railways Official website of the passenger traffic department of Uzbek railways A railfan site covering the former USSR More train pictures at the railfaneurope-site Online timetable of the Austrian railways, covering also long distance trains in Uzbekistan Some more information about railways in Uzbekistan at sairamtour.com Europe to Asia via the Silkroute - information of the "man in seat 61" TOURISTIC INFORMATION General information about Uzbekistan at sairamtour.com Lonelyplanet Central Asia discussion board Uzbek embassy in Vienna, Austria Interesting website about Karakalpakstan We are proud to be a part of Uzbek Sites Directory. Add your site too!
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International trains (Mi, 28 Feb 2007)
Last update: 2015-11-22   The following international trains operate to/from Uzbekistan: train 5/6: Tashkent - Moskva, 4 times weekly train 315/316: Tashkent - Jekaterinburg, once weekly train 381/382: Tashkent - Ufa, 3 times weekly train 321/322: Nukus - Samarkand - Tashkent - Almaty, once weekly train 323/324: Tashkent - Samarkand - Urgentch - Nukus - Volgograd, once weekly train 333/334: Tashkent - Samarkand - Urgench - Nukus - Saratov, twice weekly train 369/370: Tashkent - Almaty - Barnaul - Novosibirsk, every 4 days train 395/396: Tashkent - Samarkand - Nukus - Saratov, once weekly train 383/384: Tashkent - Samarkand - Nukus - St. Peterburg, once weekly Kungrad - Bejneu, daily Please check http://fahrplan.oebb.at/bin/query.exe/en or http://uzrailpass.uz/service/railRun for timings and dates of running!
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Roundtrips (Mi, 28 Feb 2007)
Last update: 2015-11-22 TASHKENT - BUKHARA - SAMARKAND - KHIVA - TASHKENT (10 days) 1st day: Sightseeing in Tashket. In the evening take the overnight train to Bukhara at 21:10. 2nd day: Arrival in Bukhara at 07:12. Sightseeing in Bukhara. 3rd day: Sightseeing in Bukhara. 4th day: Train trip from Bukhara (08:20) to Samarkand (11:25) Sightseeing in Samarkand. 5th day: Sightseeing in Samarkand. 6th day: Sightseeing in Samarkand. In the night take the overnight train to Urgench at 00:05 (after midnight, so actually already on the 7th day). 7th day: Arrival at Urgench at 13:00, then taxi or bus to Khiva (about 20 km from Urgench). Sightseeing in Khiva. 8th day: Sightseeing in Khiva. 9th day: Sightseeing in Khiva untill noon. Then go back to Urgench to catch the train to Tashkent at 15:20. 10th day: Arrival in Tashkent at 10:28. As all trains are running daily, you can modify the trip as you wish and add extra-days in some of the places or shorten your time in some of the places. If you choose kupe-cars (4-bed-compartment) for overnight travel and 2nd/economy class seating for day-time trips, the tickets for the whole trip will cost about 100 EUR (based on november 2015 prices and exchange rate). TASHKENT - SAMARKAND - BUKHARA (7 days)1st day (trip can be started daily): Sightseeing in Tashkent 2nd day Take the Afrosiab highspeed train to Samarkand (at 7:00 or 8:00), where you arrive 2h10min later. Sightseeing in Samarkand in the afternoon. 3rd day Sightseeing in Samarkand 4th day Sightseeing in Samarkand in the morning. Take the train to Bukhara at 12:00. Arrival in Bukhara at 14:57. Sightseeing in Bukhara in the evening. 5th day: Sightseeing in Bukhara. 6th day: Sightseeing in Bukhara. In the evening take the overnight train to Tashkent at 20:30. 7th day: Arrival in Tashkent at 6:30. It is no problem to plan extra days wherever you want, as there are daily travel options between the towns. You can also consider taking the day-train from Bukhara back to Tashkent. If you choose kupe-cars (4-bed-compartment) for overnight travel and 2nd/economy class seating for day-time trips, the tickets for the whole trip will cost about 55 EUR (based on november 2015 prices and exchange rate). All necessary timetables for planning round trips like this can be found in the domestic timetables section.
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Domestic timetables (Mi, 28 Feb 2007)
The timetable of most domestic (and international) train services within/to/from Uzbekistan can be found also in the database of many European Railways, for example in the travel planner of Austrian Railways at http://fahrplan.oebb.at/bin/query.exe/en Please use the followng citynames: "Taschken", "Samarkand", "Buchara" and "Urgentsch". The official website of Uzbek Railways also lists some timings at http://uzrailpass.uz/service/railRun, (in Russian) but they don't contain any information about intermediate stops.
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Trains and service offered (Mi, 28 Feb 2007)
There are basically three types of trains in Uzbekistan. DAYTIME EXPRESS TRAINS This trains run between Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara and Karshi: no. 1/2 "Registon" Tashkent - Samarkand no. 3/4 "Registon" Tashkent - Samarkand no. 7/8 "Nasaf" Tashkent - Karshi no. 9/10 "Sharq" Tashkent - Samarkand - Bukhara This express trains have seating accomodation (usually 1st and 2nd class, alltough I didn't notice a big difference between 1st and 2nd class) similar to European trains. A snack and tea are included in the fare of such express trains. There is usually a buffet-carriage. The carriages of this trains are quite new and ususally air-conditioned. Express trains run fast: The 353 km between Tashkent and Samarkand can be travelled in less than 4 hours, the average speed is 92 km/h. Maximum speed is currently 120 km/h, which is maybe raised to 140 km/h from march 2011. Uzbek railways have also ordered new Spanish trainsets (from Talgo company), eventually they will run at top speeds of 200 km/h or more, once they are operational. OVERNIGHT TRAINS Overnight trains run between Tashkent and Bukhara and also to the more remote parts of the country (Urgench, Nukus, Kungrad, Karshi, Termez, Andizhan). Also international trains (except the local train Kungrad - Bejneu) count to this category. However, it is also possible to use such trains for shorter trips, e.g. from Tashkent to Samarkand. Overnight-trains have up to four categories: spalnyj vagon (SV) - sleeping car with 2-bed-compartments, 18 places per carriage kupe (K) - sleeping car with 4-bed-compartments, 36 places per carriage plazkartnyj (P) - open "dormitory-style" couchette car, 54 place per carriage obshchyj (O) - same as plazkartnyj, but more people in one carriage, 81 places per carriage SV and O might not be available on all trains. K and P are the basic-categories, which are always available. Obshchyj is OK for shorter distances, but not recommended for overnight travel. Plazkartnyj allows a relatively good sleep and is recommended if you're on a tight budget. Kupe is more spacious and offers more privacy. It's possible to lock the doors of the compartment. SV is similar to Kupe, but there are only two passengers per compartment, so you have even more privacy. Every car has one or two conductors. They will check the tickets and take care about their passengers. In every car there is a water-boiler, where you can take hot water at any time for preparing tee or instant coffee. This service is free. A small fee is usually payable for bed linen. Restaurant cars are usually available on overnight trains. LOCAL AND SUBURBAN TRAINS Apart from the long distance trains there are also some local trains. These usually consist of plazkartnyj-cars used as obshchyj cars. Around Tashkent there are suburban trains ("Elektrichka") with seating accomodations. Pictures of some Uzbek trains
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News (Di, 27 Feb 2007)
2015-11-22: I've finally updated several sections of this site. Recent developments at Uzbek railways: Afrosiab-highspeed trains are now running twice daily between Tashkent and Samarkand. Traivel time is just 2h10min. One Afrosiab-train continues beyond Samarkand to Karshi. Electrificiation of the Samarkand-Bukhara railway line is currently being done and once finished, Afrosiab-trains are also expected to run on the Tashkent-Samarekand-Bukhara route. Uzbek Railways will buy 2 additional "Adrosiab"-trains from the Spanish company Talgo. The Tashkent-Bukhara daytime express train "Sharq" noow runs twice daily on fridays and sundays and thus offers also afternoon departures. A 2nd night train  travels between Tashkent and Bukhara 3 times weekly (during the weekend). This train continues beyound Bukhara to Alat. The "Registon" train (previously the fastest train between Tashkent and Samarkand) doesn't run anyomore, but the Tashkent-Karshi "Nasaf" express train has been retimed and extended beyond Karshi to Kitab. It now offers a morning departure from Kitab/Karsghi to Samarkand - Tashkent and runs back in the evening from Tashkent to Samarkand, Karshi and Kitab. The overnigh train Tashkent - Urgench now runs daily to Urgentch and is extended to Shavat (a few kilometers beyond Urgench) 3 times weekly. The Tashkent - Nukus - Kungrad overnight train now runs 3 times daily (according to some sources 4 times daily). 2014-07-19: I currently have not enough time to update this website regularily, but I hope that this website anyway provides some useful information for you. 2012-04-06: I've just once again updated the timetable. The highspeed-train between Tashkent and Samarkand n now runs daily (Tashkent 8h00 - Samarkand 10h30; Samarkand 17h00 - Tashkent 19h38). The timetable of the "Registon"-train changed, now it goes 3 times weekly from Samarkand to Tahskent at lunch time and back in the evening. 2012-01-16:The first Talgo-trainset is now running on a regular basis (on weekends) between Tashkent and Samarkand. Travel time is now just 2h30. The ordinary express trains (Sharq, Registon and Nasaf) has been slowed down a little bit (by 10 minutes) between Tashkent and Samarkand, they now make intermediate stops at Djizak and Gulistan. However, the morning train (train no 3/4) from Samarkand to Tashkent and back in the afternoon seems to have been discontinued. I've updated the domestic timetable section. 2011-09-08:The two Talgo-trainsets ordered by Uzbek railway finally were delivered to Uzbek Railways in summer. Some photos are availaible here. The top-speed of the trains is 250 km/h. Revenue service between Tashkent and Samarkand is expected to start soon, with travel times reduced from 3,5 hrs to just 2 hrs. Not only new trains were bought, also the tracks between Tashkent and Samarkand were upgraded to enable higher speeds. A more detailed report is available here 2011-06-27:A new direct train now connects Bukhara and Urgench once weekly. See http://www.uzrailpass.uz/main.cgi?lan=e&section=2&id=98 2011-02-09:A new train from Tashkent to Denau (in the south of the country, close to Dushanbe) is running every other day since 2011-02-04. It replaces the former Tashkent - Kitab train, but Kitab will continued to be served with direct waggons in the new train, which ware uncoupled at Karshi. 2011-01-18:I've heard that the top-speeds of the express trains will be increased from 120 to 140 km/h from march. If this happens, further travel time reductions can be expected. 2010-06-01:A new evening express train Tashkent - Samarkand as well as a new morning train Tashkent - Samarkand was introduced. 2009-12-24:A new once-weekly Tashkent - Urgench - Shavat train was introduced in december 2009.The dates of running of the other trains Tashkent - Urgench (3x weekly) and Tashkent - Kungrad (2x weekly) were changed.Now there are 5 weekly trains between Tashkent and Urgench (3 to Urgench, 1 to Shavat and the international train to/from Saratov in Russia), which gives more flexibility for trips to Khiva. 2009-11-26: Uzbek railways are currently finalizing negotiations with the spanish company Talgo about delivery of two high-speed trains till 2011. They plan to run trains between Tashkent and Samarkand with speeds up to 250 km/h. Source: http://www.rzd-partner.com/news/2009/11/26/348264.html 2009-08-01: On weekends a 2nd overnight train between Tashkent and Bukhara has been introduced. It departs from Tashkent on friday evening and from Bukhara on sunday evening. The Tashkent - Termez train no longer runs via Turkmenistan. Thanks to a new railway line between Tashkurgan and Kumkurgan the train can reach Termez without crossing through Turkmenistan. Passengers now save 7 hours and can use this train now without worrying about Turkmen transit visas. The train 49/50 between Tashkent and Samarkand has been cancelled. Please download the updated timetable at http://uzbekistan-railway.blogspot.com/2007/03/domestic-timetables.html 2009: All trains depart/leave again from Tashkent main station. 2008-06-15: A new train Tashkent - Nukus - St. Petersburg has been introduced. It runs once-weekly. 2008-06-01: IMPORTANT: Due to renovation works on the tracks near Tashkent main station all trains from Tashkent to the south or west (to Samarkand, Buchara, Urgench, Kungrad, Saratov) temporariliy depart/arrive at Tashkent Yuzhnyj station (Tashkent South) instead of Tashkent main station. Also the transit-train Almaty - Tashkent - Nukus now serves Tashkent Yuzhnyj instead of Tashkent main station. 2008-03-20: A new train Tashkent - Saratov via Urgench has been introduced. It runs once weekly. 2008-01-14: A new train Tashkent - Almaty - Novosibirsk has been introduced. This train makes travelling betwenn Tashkent and Almaty more easier and also offers a possibility to reach Siberia directly from Uzbekistan (e.g. to connect with a trip on the Transsiberian railway). The new train runs every 4 days. 2008-01-10: A new express train Tashkent - Samarkand - Karshi has been introduced. It is called "Nasaf". Timetable: Tashkent 7:35 - Samarkand 11:05/11:20 - Karshi 13:05 Karshi 15:35 - Samarkand 17:20/17:35 - Tashkent 21:07 The new train runs daily except saturdays and sundays. The travel time of express train has been shortened between Tashkent and Samarkand by 10 minutes to 3h30 and between Tashkent and Buchara by 30 minutes to 6h30. 2007-05-04: The speeds of express trains has been raised. The "Registon" now makes Tashkent - Samarkand in 3h40, whereas the travel time between Tashkent and Buchara on the "Sharq" has been cut by 30 minutes to exact 7 hours.
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