Silk Road train Urumchi - Almaty

Monday 2005-09-05

Train trip:
Urumchi 23:55 - Almaty 7:15 (two days later)

International train ticket (written in Chinese, Russian and German):

Kazakh train at Urumchi station:

Tuesday 2005-09-06

Sunrise near the Chinese-Kazakh border:

Chinese border station Alashankou:

After three hours at Alashankou the train moved on to Kazakhstan.

The border between China and Kazakhstan:

Immediately after the border the train stopped at a special boder station with no name and surrounded with fences. Here Kazakh border inspections took place.
I took a photo, but had to delete it, after the Kazakh border guards saw it on my camera (they wanted to see the taken pictures). I had to pay an "inofficial" fine and to delete the photo to avoid more serious problems. The above photos were on another chip, so they didn't see them and I could keep them....

After two hours at the border inspection stop we continued to Druzhba, the first official stop of the train. Here the boogies are being exchanged (again broad gauge in Kazakhstan) and we could get off the train to have a lunch at the station's restaurant.
After China I felt like at home, as it was possible to read and understand the language (Russian) again...

Two different gauges:

1st (from left) and 3rd rail: Chinese gauge (1435mm), 2nd and 4th rail: Kazakh gauge (1520mm)

The railway linking Kazakhstan and China was opened only in 1991:

Nowadays it's an important freight corridor linkling Europe with Asia.

By train through Kazakhstan:

Austrian track work machine (company Plasser&Theurer) at Beskol, Kazakhstan:


During the trip we were invited by some Kazakhs to have dinner and some glasses of vodka in their compartment, so we had a funny evening...

Our new Kazakh friends:

Wednesday 2005-09-07

Arrival in Almaty in the morning: