Ritmeurasia: The construction of the railway through Kyrgyzstan has become a priority in the EAEU

The construction of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway will be included in the list of priority integration infrastructure projects for the Eurasian Economic Union. The decision was made by the EEC Council (Eurasian Economic Commission) at a regular meeting chaired by the Kyrgyz side in the Belarusian city of Vitebsk. Official Bishkek was represented at the meeting by the first deputy chairman of the cabinet of ministers of the republic, Adylbek Kasymaliev.

The draft list of priority infrastructure projects in the field of transport of the EAEU member states will be submitted for approval by the heads of government of the integration association. The prime ministers of the member countries of the Union will gather in the near future at a meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council. According to the press service of the government of the Kyrgyz Republic, another important project for Kyrgyzstan is also included in the priority list, which provides for the electrification of the Lugovaya-Balykchy railway section.

According to official sources, approval from EAEU partners will allow the Kyrgyz side to speed up the implementation of the project, which it has been trying to launch since the mid-1990s. This is how long, in particular, the possibility of building a transit line from China to Uzbekistan through the territory of the Kyrgyz Republic has been discussed. The Kyrgyz side offered to consider several route options. Including – allowing to form the so-called inner railway ring in the Kyrgyz Republic. However, later they were abandoned due to the high cost.

According to the Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications of the Kyrgyz Republic Almaz Turgunbaev, an important international project has entered the phase of active implementation. By the end of the year, the Kyrgyz side intends to complete the development of a feasibility study for the transit railway. “The project will allow mutual trade in Eurasia to make a big leap and is of great importance directly for Kyrgyzstan,” Almaz Turgunbaev emphasizes.

According to Ulan Kulov, head of the capital construction department of the state enterprise Kyrgyz Temir Zholu (KTZ), the feasibility study will be based on field research materials conducted by local specialists last year.

“Technical issues are being discussed – the route, track gauge, location of the transfer station,” he reminded. – In the post-Soviet space, the track width is 1520 mm. In China, the track gauge is 1435 mm. Therefore, it is necessary to build not only a road, but also a transshipment point. Usually they are placed on the borders. Where it will be built with us is still unclear. The solution of the issue is complicated by the fact that the railway through Kyrgyzstan will pass through the highlands.

The Cabinet of Ministers plans to start construction in the next few months.

3 August, 2022