The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has lent the Republic of Uzbekistan $108m to electrify the 465km Bukhara-Miskin-Urgench-Khiva railway line.
The electrification is expected to cut travel time between Bukhara and Khiva by up to three hours and allow for passengers to move between the capital Tashkent to Khiva in seven hours, with trains travelling at a top speed of 250km/h.
Uzbekistan wants to boost tourism by linking the western Khorezm region to the central and eastern regions.
The electrification will have the potential to cut 81,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.
An electronic ticketing system will also be implemented on the line.
Konstantin Limitovskiy, AIIB Vice President of regional investment operations, said: “This project is aligned with AIIB’s mandate to finance Infrastructure for Tomorrow and sets an excellent example of enhancing regional connectivity via sustainable infrastructure financing.
“The improvement and integration of the transport sector in the country will further promote trade and economic growth in the region.”