Kazakhstan's first light rail system is being built by Chinese companies. (File photo/chinacrane.net)
Construction has started on Kazakhstan's first light rail system, which is being built by Chinese companies in the country's capital Astana, reports CCTV.com.[Special coverage]
It's due to be completed in 2018 with an overall investment of 1.887 billion US dollars.
Using cutting-edge driverless trains, the 22-mile rail link will connect the airport with a new railway station in the city center and is expected to shorten commuting times by half on completion.
Construction is being carried out by the China Railway NO.2 Group Co. Ltd., and the China Construction 6th Engineering Division Corp. Ltd, according to Chinese standards, and employing local staff.
The companies have had to meet the challenges of building the rail project in the extremely low temperatures of the Astana winter, during which temperatures plummet to minus 50 degrees Celsius.
Commenting on the project, Han Huimin, from the China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC) said Chinese engineers had carried out special experiments beforehand in China to make sure all the equipment will be able to withstand the extremely low temperatures in the Kazakh capital.