President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev launched two new rail lines, Zhezkazgan-Beyneu and Arkalyk-Shubarkol, at an Aug. 22 event held on the central square of Zhezkazgan. A teleconference with the main stations in the Kostanai, Kyzylorda, Aktobe, Mangistau and Karaganda regions was also held and station management gave readiness reports.
Congratulating all people of Kazakhstan, the President called the opening of the railways one of the most important events of the year. Nazarbayev thanked the railroad and construction workers for their hard work and service.
“Today, we are opening two new railway lines. This is a first for us. The Zhezkazgan-Beyneu and Arkalyk-Shubarkol lines will affect the fate and future of several of Kazakhstan’s regions for decades to come. Since independence, we have not stopped building new railroads and have stepped up our efforts,” the President said.
According to him, the new railways will breathe new life into several regions in the years ahead. “These lines are drastically changing the face of Kazakhstan. Zhezkazgan and Arkalyk are no longer dead-end stations. They are located along the path from Asia to Europe. Kazakhstan benefits from its ability to reduce distances and delivery times. We have created a world-class railway network right here in Kazakhstan,” Nazarbayev said.
Nazarbayev also noted that construction involved 10,000 people and that another 3,000 will gain permanent employment. He expressed his gratitude to all who took part in building the railroad.
Zhezkazgan-Beyneu and Arkalyk-Shubarkol will facilitate growth in neighbouring areas. Immediate benefits will be felt by the residents and businesses of the Karaganda, Mangistau, Aktobe, Kyzylorda and Kostanai regions, he noted.
In addition, the President of Kazakhstan emphasised that the new railroads will have a positive impact on Zhezkazgan, as it is now a strategic stop along important international and national transit lines.
Live broadcasts from construction starting points in Beyneu in the Mangistau region, Shalkar in the Aktobe region, Saksaulskaya in the Kyzylorda region, Arkalyk in the Kustanai region and Zhezkazgan captured the dispatch of the first cargo trains onto the new railways.
During construction, which lasted from June 2012 to August 2014, Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, Kazakhstan’s state-owned railroad monopoly, built more than 1,200 kilometres of railroad; housing facilities were built for workers and staff as well.
The location and configuration of new railways can significantly reduce the distance goods must travel between east and west and from north to south, both in Kazakhstan and over its borders, Askar Mamin, president of Kazakhstan Temir Zholy informed Nazarbayev.
He also added that the railways will contribute to the development of central and western Kazakhstan, stimulating economic activity and accelerating the development of business and industry in the regions.
According to Mamin, the launch of new railways greatly increases the potential of the trans-Kazakhstan transport corridors from China towards Russia and Europe.
The total length of Zhezkazgan-Beyneu and Arkalyk-Shubarkol is more than 1,200 kilometres. The Zhezkazgan-Beyneu line is the shortest rail route from central Kazakhstan to the Port of Aktau and the border with Turkmenistan and the Gulf states. Arkalyk-Shubarkol is a route from the centre of Kazakhstan to Russia and eventually Western Europe.