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The history of railways of Uzbekistan

The history of railways development in the territory of Uzbekistan begins in 1874 when special commission recognized the need to build branch railway Orenburg – Tashkent. However, later the decision was altered – first railway had to connect Tashkent to the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea.

Construction of the trans-Caspian railway was started in November 1880. In five years the railway came to Ashgabat and in 1886 to Chardjou. In May 1888 when the first wooden bridge over the Amudarya was constructed, the route to Samarkand opened. In 1899 the railway reached Tashkent. At the same time the line from Ursatyevskaya station to Ferghana valley was laid down.

At the end of the last century the question of Tashkent – Orenburg railway construction was raised again and the construction was started in autumn 1900 simultaneously from Tashkent and Orenburg. In January 1906 Tashkent-Orenburg railway was opened providing Central Asia with the straight way to Central Russia.

This railway was playing special role during the Great Patriotic War providing the connection between Caucasus and the central part of the country. Steps were taken to increase the railroad throughput considerably. In a very short period nine iron foundries and three steel-casting foundries were built to allow local manufacture of scarce materials and spare parts. During the war Tashkent - Angren line was built.

After the war railway men of Uzbekistan were taking active part in the recovery of national economy of the country. In the 1970-s the most important event was construction of Chardjou-Kungrad-Beyneu line 1025 kilometers long, which was opened in 1972 providing the second outlet to the European part of the country.