The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US$121 million loan to Uzbekistan to complete the modernization of the railway network in its eastern regions. The loan is an addition to ADB's US$80 million financing approved in 2017 to help electrify 145.1 kilometres of railway track between the cities of Pap, Namangan and Andijan in the Fergana Valley of Uzbekistan.
The modernization of the eastern Uzbekistan railway network is expected to boost tourism and trade between Uzbekistan and its neighbours, as it is part of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Programme's Corridor 2. The CAREC Programme, established in 1997 by the ADB, is aimed at encouraging economic cooperation among countries in the Central Asian region.
Uzbekistan's railway link in Fergana Valley is also considered as a vital part of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway project, which at present uses road transport on one of its sections.
In June this year a launching ceremony was held for the first China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan freight train running from Lanzhou, in northwest China's Gansu province, to Tashkent.
The freight train connects through Dongchuan to Kashgar in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The goods are then transferred to trucks to be moved from Kashgar to Osh in Kyrgyzstan. The trucks connect with the rail link between Osh and the city of Tashkent, Uzbekistan.