formed in 1958 out of the Turkestan-Siberian and the Karaganda railroads and sections of the former Tashkent, Orenburg, and Southern Urals railroads.
The railroad’s administrative office is in Alma-Ata. The railroad runs through the Kazakh SSR and through parts of the RSFSR and the Kirghiz SSR. It connects with the Middle Asian Railroad (at Chengel’dy station), the Western Siberian Railroad (at Lokot’, Kulunda, and Kzyltu stations), the Volga Region Railroad (at Ozinki and Aksaraiskaia stations), and the Southern Urals Railroad (at Zolotaia Sopka, Petropavlovsk, Tobol, Nikel’-Tau, and Iletsk stations). It is the country’s longest railroad: in 1971, 13, 250 km of track were in use, representing about 9 percent of the USSR’s total rail network, and the total length of the main tracks was 15, 084 km.
The Iletsk-Chengel’dy trunk line (from Orenburg to Tashkent) was the first section to be put into operation (1905–06), linking European Russia with Middle Asia and with the southern and western regions of Kazakhstan. In 1915 the Zolotaia Sopka (from Troitsk)-Kustanai lines were built; in 1916, the Arys’-Burnoe line; and in 1917, the Lokot’ (from Aleisk)-Semipalatinsk line. More than 80 percent of the lines have been built during the Soviet period. Between 1922 and 1924 the Burnoe-Dzhambul and Dzhambul-Frunze lines were put into operation. In 1931 two of the USSR’s most important trunk lines were built in order to develop the Karaganda Coal Basin: the Turkestan-Siberian (Turksib) line connecting Siberia and the Far East with Middle Asia and Kazakhstan and the Kurort Borovoe-Tselinograd (formerly Akmolinsk)-Karaganda line. In 1939–40, the Karaganda-Balkhash, Lokot’-Leninogorsk, and Zharyk-Dzhezkazgan lines were built to reach the copper and polymetallic-ore deposits at Balkhash, Leninogorsk, and Dzhez-kazgan.
During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45) several new lines were put into operation: the Kandagach-Gur’ev line, establishing a route from the Southern Urals to the Caspian Sea and the petroleum deposits of Kazakhstan; the Kant-Bystrovka and Koksu-Tekeli lines; the very important Tselinograd (Ak-molinsk)-Kartaly trunk line, linking the Karaganda Coal Basin with the industrial regions of the Urals; and the Nikel’tau (from Orsk)-Kandagach line, connecting the Southern Urals with Gur’ev and Middle Asia. In 1953 the Tselinograd-Pavlodar, Mointy-Chu, and Zashchita-Zyrianovsk lines went into operation. Among lines built between 1960 and 1971 are the Novouritskoe-Peski-Tselinnye, Peski-Tselinnye-Volodarskoe, Pavlodar-Kulunda, Esil’-Arkalyk, Tobol-Dzhetygara, Aktogai-Druzhba, Karaganda-Karagaily, Ermentau-Aisary, Tobol-Lisakovsk, Makat-Mangyshlak, Mangyshlak-Uzen’-Karatau-Zhanatas, and Dubovskaia-Uglerudnaia-Balkhash-Saiak.
The Kazakh Railroad serves regions in which are found coal mines, of ores and building materials, enterprises of ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy, and machine-building, chemical, consumer, and food-processing industries, as well as some of the country’s major agricultural regions. In freight turnover, the railroad occupies second place in the country’s rail network, with about 230 billion ton km in 1971. Coal, ore, grain, and building materials account for most of the outgoing freight. Among incoming and transit shipments, coal, petroleum products, lumber, machinery, and equipment predominate, as well as freight of the consumer and the food-processing industries. Outgoing shipments constitute about 28 percent of the total freight; incoming shipments, about 21 percent; local shipments, 23 percent; and transit shipments, 28 percent. The volume of the railroad’s passenger transport was about 14 billion passenger km in 1971, or about 5 percent of the transport of the USSR’s total rail network. In 1971 the Kazakh Railroad was awarded the Order of Lenin.
G. S. RAIKHER