High-Speed Train Аfrosiyob Makes First Trip
Thursday 1 September 2011
TASHKENT (UzA) – The new high-speed electric train Afrosiyob made its first trip from Tashkent to Samarkand on 26 August.
- The RENFE Class 130 or S-130 (Talgo 250)
This Uzbek version was ordered in 2009 for use on the Tashkent–Samarkand high-speed rail line.
Railway workers, government officials, members of the public and representatives of the diplomatic corpus became the first passengers of the Talgo-250 train. The time of the trip from Tashkent to Samarkand is now only two hours, making it one of the most convenient ways to reach the second-largest city in the country. “In the earlier times, the trip would take eight hours. The trains had no air conditioners or heaters,” chairman of Nuroniy fund’s Samarkand city department Tursun Safarov remembered.
The high-speed train investment project was agreed during the visit of the President of Uzbekistan to Spain in 2009. Uzbekistan Railways and Patentes Talgo S.L. signed a Memorandum on mutual cooperation and reached a deal on purchase of two trains. In January 2010, President Islam Karimov signed a resolution on purchase of two high-speed passenger trains Talgo-250, first of which was delivered this July.
The Talgo 250 is a dual voltage electric train (AC/DC) equipped with variable gauge axles. Due to this, they are used for the services using high speed lines as well as conventional broad gauge lines. A conventional Talgo 250 train consists of two power cars and 11 Talgo VII intermediate coaches. Developed for RENFE (classed as S-130), the Uzbekistan Railways ordered two Talgo 250 sets of a Russian gauge version in 2009. This Uzbek version is composed of eight passenger coaches and a restaurant car. It is provided with necessary facilities for the passengers with disabilities. Afrosiyob, which has a maximum speed of 250 km/h, passes the distance between Tashkent and Samarkand (344 km) in just two hours. The train drivers and staff were trained in Spanish companies Talgo and Renfe.
Prior to the launch of the Afrosiyob train, a large-scale work was held to modernize the rail infrastructure along the Tashkent-Samarkand route. Rail distance of 600 km was rehabilitated, and 68 km of new railways were laid. A new double-track section with the length of over 35.3 km was built between Yangiyer and Dashtobod, as well as a 142-meter-long tunnel and four bridges with a total length of 400 meters. The communication and alarm systems were also modernized, safety zones were established with concrete barriers and metal bars, and pedestrian crossings were constructed to ensure traffic safety. Besides, Tashkent and Samarkand railway stations were renovated to improve safety and comfort of the passengers.
The passengers of the first Afrosiyob train took part in the opening ceremony of the eighth international music festival Sharq Taronalari in Samarkand. They returned to the capital on the same day.