The difficult relations with Uzbekistan and the underfunding of the national train company have made rail transport almost non-existent in Tajikistan.
For general information about what to expect on a train journey in Tajikistan, check the page on trains in Central Asia, which includes the Central Asian rail network map for route planning and more information on timetables.
About railways in Tajikistan: two separate networks exist that are not connected to each other. The northern network joins Khojand with Uzbekistan, and a southern network spreads from Dushanbe to Kulob, Qurgonteppa, to southern Uzbekistan and to the border with Afghanistan at Nizhnij Pyanj. International trains from Dushanbe go south to Termez in Uzbekistan, before climbing up again.
Dushanbe – Moscow: The train is filled with Tajik migrant workers on their way to try their luck in Moscow. A great videoreport about their experiences was made by 2 journalists of Radio Free Europe. For non-CIS-passport holders, this train is not the best idea, since you will need a Russian visa, a Kazakh transit visa, a double-entry Uzbek visa and a Tajik visa to complete this journey.
If you’re still interested, it takes 5 days. Prices for a ticket in Dushanbe are (November 2014) 1257 somoni for platzkart and 1810 somoni for kupe.
Dushanbe – Khojand – Konibodom: Train 367 & 368 have stopped running since March 2011. It became unprofitable since the new Dushanbe – Khojand highway opened. By car it now takes 5 to 8 hours, while the train route took 32 hours in the past, including a part in Uzbekistan. There has been talk about a new, straighter Dushanbe – Tursunzode – Khujand, but we’re not holding our breath.
Khojand – Samarkand – Saratov: Train 335 is no longer in action.
Other domestic routes: Currently not operating as far as we know.