Almaty Metro ring circle

Almaty Metropolitan line should be circled in ring and extended based on existing and modernized railway track of Kazakh national railway KTZ

ФОТО: metroalmaty.kz

Public transport of Almaty is just a disastrous. Chinese buses can barely cope with the 600,000 daily passenger traffic, BAKAD is struggling, LRT tender lasting already fourth years. Average historical tempo of Almaty Metro construction is about 2 stations every 5 years, just for comparison, Moscow will build 25 metro stations by 2024, 8-9 new stations will be commissioned annually, the second large metro circle line is nearing completion.

The length of existing Almaty metro line from «Raimbek station» to «Western station» will be 20 km by the end of 2025. But length of existing ground railways from «Almaty-2 station» to «Heat power station TEZ-2» is 25 km. To close the full metro ring circle, it will be necessary to construct a double-track railway insertion of 30 km and build about 15 new metro stations on the ground.

The total length of Almaty metro ring will be 50 km and 28 stations, including 13 underground and 15 ground stations along railway tracks. The passenger traffic of the ring circled metro will be about 300 thousand passengers per day, or 50% of the total public passenger traffic of Almaty.

Metro ring circle construction would require less investment, as existing operable railway lines around Almaty are already connecting stations «Almaty-2», «Almaty-1», «Burundai» and «Heat power station TEZ-2». Moreover, the end eastern metropolitan station «Raimbek» is already technically connected to railway section of Almaty-1 as well.

KTZ has plans to extend single-track section from «Almaty-1» to «Almaty-2» with an additional double-track line insert. This insertion must be retrofitted with metro subway platforms and third rail electrification, plus equipped with joined signaling system.

In the past, a radical closing scenario of «Almaty-2» railway station in the city center and use of remaining «Almaty-1» station has been discussed. At the same time, there are high-cost plans to extend underground metro under residential buildings along Seifullin Avenue from «Raiymbek station» to «Almaty-1» station. However, it would be more rational to use existing railway track along Suyunbai Avenue, expanding it with double track insertion and electrifying within metro third rail solution.

Combination of railway and metro lines is usual good practice in Europe, Japan, Russia and China. Such a rail circle will unite densely populated suburban districts of Almaty like Kalkaman, Terekty, Algabas, Industrial zone, Shanyrak, Burunday and Almaty-1, which become new recreation areas of the future Almaty.

According to the city's plans, construction of the metro stations «Kalkaman» and «Western station» next to «Altyn Orda» market, is going to be completed by the end of 2025. Hereby, the metro line comes very close to existing railway track of the «Heat power station TEZ-2» on the western side of Almaty.

From the eastern side of the city «Raimbek» metro station is already connected with railway track to «Almaty-1 station», that is why metro line construction should be extended and circled in ring after «Western station», building a full circle connection with existing railway track «Heat power station TEZ-2» - «Burundai».

Technical implementation of metro ringing is only possible by close cooperation between Akimat and KTZ. At the very first stage, the connection of the metro with railway section to Almaty-1 should be associated with the project of insertion of second track on the section between Almaty-2 and Almaty-1, as well as integration of signaling systems and electrification

After railway stations transfer of the «Almaty-1» and «Almaty-2» from balance of KTZ to the ownership of Almaty City, the stations were significantly modernized. Same for the future new ground-based metro stations «Baum Grove», «Burundai», «Industrial zone», «Heat power station TEZ-2», which will improve the areas and recreational zones around metropolitan stations.

An interesting fact, the Moscow Metro Ring Line of 12 stations, 19 km long, has traffic of 540 thousand passengers per day. Almaty half-ring metro of 9 stations, 11 km long carries in average 40 thousand passengers per day.

Authors opinion may not reflect with official program plans of the Government and Akimat of Almaty

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