The Uzbekistan Ambassador to France and Portugal, Sardor Rustambayev, recently discussed the collaborative efforts between the nations in the revitalization of Tashkent’s tram system. This exchange took place during the International Forum O’zbekistonlik, held on April 23rd in Paris, as reported by Gazeta.uz.
According to him, the French company Alstom, once agreements are reached, will supply its equipment and build a tram line in the Uzbek capital.
“Moreover, [Alstom] is providing a consulting service for designing optimal routes within Tashkent. They will work with our authorities, the Tashkent Hokimiyat, the Ministry of Transport to develop optimal routes within Tashkent, taking into account passenger traffic, load. Even if they don’t provide the equipment, if there is another supplier, they will [still] help us make this infrastructure,” he said.
The diplomat noted that plans for a tram line are being considered, referring to a potential route on New Uzbekistan Street, which will connect Tashkent with “New Tashkent” and will start from Dustlik metro station.
“It is already easier in terms of infrastructure — not to break the existing roads, but to already make a line from the nearest metro station to New Tashkent. I don’t think there will be little passenger traffic there. [Novy Tashkent] will actually be a city of millions. I think it will fill up very quickly. And that’s why at this stage we are already laying new infrastructure,” said Sardor Rustambayev.
As for the possibility of supplying trams themselves by Alstom, according to the ambassador, the Uzbek side “insists on localization”.
“We now insist on localization. Because it is one thing to supply, it is another thing to make it as local as possible. Therefore, it is all a subject of conversation, a subject of agreements. But most importantly, there is the political will of the presidents of the two countries. An agreement was reached, and France is the world leader in this area. Therefore there is no question of their competence. All the proposals we are given, and the advice we will receive — I think they will lead to a situation with traffic in the city fairly quickly and fairly quickly relieved,” — he said.
“Gazeta.uz” reported last November that Alstom will build tram lines in Tashkent. The cost of the lines with the length of 9.1 km was estimated at €167.4 million at the time. The agreement was signed in Paris during a visit of the President of Uzbekistan.
Transport Minister Ilkhom Makhkamov confirmed that Alstom would build the lines, but the routes have not yet been determined.
Transport Minister Anvar Djuraev noted in the summer that proposals had been prepared for two tram routes, from the TTZ and from the Hippodrome to the Central Station North.
In January this year, then-hokim of Tashkent, Jahongir Artykhojaev, approved a road map for a €1 billion long-term programme in infrastructure, urban development, public transport and localisation. The document mandated the development of a feasibility study for the tram line and a localisation programme for tramcar components.
In April, Transport Minister Ilkhom Makhkamov noted that experts suggest starting with the construction of a tram line that would connect old and new Tashkent. “They say that if we start building a tram inside the city now, we will face even more congestion. Not after the launch of the tram, but during its construction. It will take a very long time,” he said.