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Project Update

Astana light rail system, Kazakhstan [free access]

July 1, 2019

Developer: Astana LRT LPP is the developer.


Project description: Development of a light rail transit (LRT) system in Nur-Sultan (formerly known as Astana).


Background: The system will be developed in three phases, which will collectively span 42 km. Construction of Phase I commenced in 2017 and as of July 2018, 23 per cent of the works have been completed. Phases II and III are under planning.


Phase I will span 22.6 km from Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport to the Astana Nurly Zhol railway station, covering 18 stations. It will offer connectivity to Nazarbayev University, Abu Dhabi Plaza, and House of Ministries. Passenger services are expected to begin in September 2020.


Rolling stock: A fleet of 19 light rail vehicles (LRVs) supplied by a China-based company is planned to be deployed on Phase I. The LRVs will be 31.5 metres long and will be able to travel at an average speed of 40 km/hr.


Ridership: The estimated average daily ridership of Phase I is 150,000 passengers.


Funding: Phase I is being developed at an investment of USD1.50 billion. It will now be financed by bonds that are planned to be launched in the domestic market. Of the total amount, bonds worth USD344 million will be used to repay a loan from the China Development Bank. The maturity period of this loan will be 20 years, at an annual interest rate of 2.5 per cent. The remaining USD1.20 billion will be used for the construction of the line. The date of launch of the bonds is yet to be announced.


Further, in July 2018, the Ministry for Development and Investments in Kazakhstan announced plans to allocate USD47.2 million for the project.


Fare system: Contactless smart cards will be used to pay fares on the LRT. Each station will be equipped with passenger-operated automatic ticket vending (ATV) machines and automatic fare gates.


Recent development: