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Passenger railway links with Central Asia are resumed

The railway administrations of Russia and Kazakhstan have opened an international service
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On April 20, Russian Railways and NC Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (Kazakhstan Railways, KTZh) resumed one of the international trains - No. 625/626 in service between Atyrau and Astrakhan. Passenger rail service between the two countries was interrupted for more than two years due to restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.


"Passenger train service with Kazakhstan is resumed in accordance with the decision taken by the Operational Staff for Preventing the Entry and Spread of the New Coronavirus Infection in the Russian Federation to remove restrictions on movement across the land section of the Russia-Kazakhstan state border," Nikolai Kostenko, head of Russian Railways' Passenger Transportation Department, told Goodok.

Kaisar Zhumabaiuly, Director of KTZh’s Media Relations Department, reported that based on a bilateral agreement between the railway administrations, international passenger train No.625/626 from Atyrau to Astrakhan was scheduled for April 20, 2022.

"The train runs every other day. From Atyrau the train departs on even dates, and in the opposite direction on odd dates," he says.

Train No. 625/626 of the KTZh formation has seven cars in total including three compartment cars and four parlor cars. A trip from Atyrau to Astrakhan will take 12 hours 17 minutes, and in the opposite direction – 11 hours 20 minutes. The price of tickets varies depending on the class of service: parlor - from 2,200 rubles, compartment - from 3,500 rubles.

"Ticket sales for the Atyrau-Astrakhan train opened on April 19", added Nikolai Kostenko.

To travel by train to the other country, a passenger must follow certain rules.

To enter the territory of the Russian Federation all foreign nationals except for citizens of member states of the Eurasian Economic Union (Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan) must have a negative result of PCR testing dated not earlier than two calendar days before arrival in Russia (the original in hard copy or a digital version in the mobile application "Travel without COVID-19").

To enter Kazakhstan, it is also necessary to have a certificate of PCR testing with a negative result, but it must be dated not more than three days. Or passengers can provide a passport (certificate) of a full course of vaccination or revaccination against the coronavirus infection (valid for not more than six months after the last dose).

"Passengers will not be allowed to board a car if they do not have the results of a PCR test or COVID-19 vaccination passport," says Kaisar Zhumabaiuly.

According to Russian Railways, the railway administrations plan to increase the number of routes between Kazakhstan and Russia this summer. In June, in addition to the Atyrau-Astrakhan route, five more trains should open - from Almaty to Saratov, Novosibirsk and Kazan, as well as from Karaganda to Samara and Omsk.

"Ticket sales for the above trains will be opened in the near future. It will be possible to purchase tickets 45 days before departure", specifies Nikolay Kostenko.

Sergey Volkov

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