Memos from Asia

The Oldest Metro in Central Asia: Travel to Tashkent Underground

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Symmetric Metro Station Architecture in Central Tashkent, Uzbekistan taken in August 2018

Underground is an exciting and important part of the city transport system. The architecture and design of subways vary in each country, but the effect of culture, traditions, and history can be easily recognized in most of them.

Currently, modern metros do not only serve as a transit vehicle; it has become an attractive attraction for tourism.

Quick information

As you already realized from the title, the first metro in Central Asia was built in Tashkent, the capital city of Uzbekistan. The second metro was constructed in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The Tashkent metro was opened in 1977, 34 years before Almaty metro. (Metro Almaty, http://metroalmaty.kz/?q=ru/node/10). The subway is composed of 3 lines, which are called Chilanzar, Yunu-Abad, and Uzbekistan.

The Tashkent metro can be easily diversified thanks to historical views and fascinating stations. Also, It is often called a museum underground.

Rankings

The Tashkent metro ranks 1st in terms of length, speed, and passenger use in Central Asia.

Currently, the total length of the Tashkent subway is 36.2 km, 24.7 km longer than Almaty metro, which is about 11.5 km long.

Underground in Uzbekistan can run 60 km per hour, yet in Kazakhstan metro, the maximum speed is 40 km per hour. (Railway Technology, https://www.railway-technology.com/projects/almaty-metro/)

Although Tashkent Underground is not as busy as the Moscow subway or Tokyo metro regarding the number of passengers, the 270-300 thousand people use it daily, which is the highest number of passengers in Central Asia. (Meros, https://meros.uz/object/toshkent-metrosi)

Metro Stations

Pakhtakor

Tashkent, Uzbekistan – July 8, 2019: Paxtakor is a station of the Tashkent Metro on Chilonzor Line which was opened on 6 November 1977.

Alisher Navai

Symmetric Metro Station Architecture in Central Tashkent, Uzbekistan taken in August 2018

Astronauts

Tashkent, Uzbekistan – circa September 2019: Kosmonavtlar Metro Station in space program decoration in blue tones. Tube station name Cosmonaut is written in Cyrillic from the soviet times.

The design of the Tashkent metro system is unique and spectacular. The metro is one of the most decorated subways in the world.

The stations Alisher Navai, Pakhtakor, and Astronauts stand out, yet other stations are not less beautiful compared to them.

Pakhtakor (cotton grower) station reminds the ideologies of the Soviet Union. The station has cotton images on walls. At Soviet time, Uzbekistan was the main cotton producer, and authorities encouraged people to work harder and more.

Alisher Navoi station differs from other metro stations with its ornament and patterns, while Astronauts station has historical pictures of astronauts and decorated walls like a sky.

Future Plans

The possibility of earthquakes was taken into account in the construction of the Tashkent metro. The underground can withstand a 9-level earthquake in MSK-64 scale. (PV, https://www.pv.uz/oz/news/toshkent-metropoliteni-42-yoshga-toldi)

Currently, the government of Uzbekistan is carrying out three large projects in the subway:

  1. Construction of the overground subway, which is expected to be 54.8 km long.
  2. Establishing two additional stations with about 3 km long each to Yunus-Abad line.
  3. Founding 4th line in Tashkent Metro.

Hence, the Tashkent underground is expected to enlarge by four times and become a total of 157 km by 2025. (Mintrans, https://mintrans.uz/transport-infratuzilmasi/toshkent-metropoliteni)

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