Aktau to Nukus by train

The Silk Road by train. Experts: Milad, Provodnik
itfcfan
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Re: Aktau to Nukus by train

Post by itfcfan »

Jvs wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2024 6:07 pm
Hi trying to find tickets from Beineu to Nukus on bilet railways website but really struggling with finding the station names. Nothing comes up when searching for Nukus - please help!

Also tried the tickets.kz site but that doesn't give you an actual ticket and you need to exchange it?! Anyone had any experience of this?

Thanks!
On bilet.railways.kz you can enter the following cyrillic directly to access Beyneu - Nukus journeys (the latin -> cyrillic lookup on that website doesn't appear to have a latin entry for Nukus):
БЕЙНЕУ
НУКУС

Using that text for the stations I can see journeys on several days (earliest being 2nd March). They have "e" symbols next to trains on that route, so it looks like bilet.railways.kz provides a proper e-ticket here.

For the old style tickets (not e-tickets) that tickets.kz provides for this route, I've never had to collect this kind of ticket in Kazakhstan. But I did in Russia (10 years ago when e-tickets applied on fewer routes) and the process was fairly simple (show your ticket confirmation print out and your ID, have the ticket office print out a proper ticket for you) - given Kazakhstan railways use the same ticket system as Russia I imagine it's the same routine in Kazakhstan.
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robinmetral
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Re: Aktau to Nukus by train

Post by robinmetral »

We did Aktau-Nukus last week.

First, on the KZ railways website (bilet.railways.kz), we booked Aktau (MANGISTAU, МАНГИСТАУ) to Beineu (BEINEU, ВЕЙНЕУ), leaving at 8.10am and arriving at around 3pm.

The UZ railways (railway.uz) showed there was a connection to Nukus on the same day (late evening), but we couldn't book it online (buggy checkout). We went anyway and figured we'd buy the ticket at the Beineu station.

The Aktau-Beineu leg was easy. We took a Yandex taxi from Aktau to the station (in the nearby town of Mangistau), it took under 30 minutes and cost 2590 KZT (5-6 USD). The train was great, there was a lot of space in our car but others were packed. It's a sleeper so napping is an option. Passengers were each given a paper cup with a teabag and instant coffee, and the food in the (very cool) restaurant car was good.

We arrived in Beineu about 30min after schedule (maybe don't plan a short connection). At the ticket office (no English spoken) we learned that THERE WAS NO EVENING TRAIN and as far as we could tell from the paper timetables at the station, the only Beineu-Nukus train leaves every other day at 4.11am. So we had to spend two nights in Beineu until the next train (hotel Zhizhek is pretty nice, 10000 KZT (22 USD) for a twin room, didn't find anything cheaper. https://maps.app.goo.gl/F4mY3tEzfjoSL1i87)

The Beineu-Nukus train leaves at 4.11am local time, even though your ticket says 5.11am (it's railway administration time). As previous reports have said, get to the station 1h early, border control will probably already be in progress on board the train. About 2h after departure we got to the UZ border, locals stay on the train and we had to go to a little room for a quick interview (where are you from where are you going etc). All in all the two borders take some time but we had no problems at all. The train was much older than the previous one, there were cups and teapots available but we had to use our own teabags. We didn't see whether there was a restaurant car, but ladies go up and down the train all day selling food and drinks. Try the manti. (We had no UZS but one of the ladies changed our remaining KZT at a very good rate).

In Nukus the station is a bit far from the center. Taxis wanted 30k UZS. We got a ride for 15k. If you have a SIM card, Yandex is the cheapest. Nukus was actually much nicer than we thought and we stayed 3 nights (great koryo-saram food), don't rush to Khiva! :)

---

If we had to do it again:

- check when the next 4.11am Beineu-Nukus train leaves on UZ railways
- get an Aktau-Beineu ticket with KZ railways for the day before
- catch some sleep at a hotel in Beineu, it's hard to sleep before 7am on the Beineu-Nukus because of the border checks)
- go to the Beineu station about 1h early (3am)
- carry snacks and tea bags
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Milad
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Re: Aktau to Nukus by train

Post by Milad »

Thanks for your report!

There is an evening (night) train, but only twice a week (leaving Beineu at 23:58 on Mondays and Fridays). This is the long-distance Volgograd-Tashkent train which calls at both Beineu and Nukus. The 04:11 train leaves on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
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alberto.zamperetti
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Re: Aktau to Nukus by train

Post by alberto.zamperetti »

hello everyone :)

I'm planning to cross the border, from Kazakistan side in to uzbek side, by foot on the end of April, do you think i can find a sherd taxi to nukus or urgench ?

unfortunately my trip schedule do not match the train time table, based on what i've found online; somewhere i read that there's a daily train between beyneu and nukus, but i can't find an evidence of it. do you know something about that ?

If you have any other advice on how to cross the border walking I'd be very grateful.

thank in advance.
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Milad
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Re: Aktau to Nukus by train

Post by Milad »

I'm planning to cross the border, from Kazakistan side in to uzbek side, by foot on the end of April, do you think i can find a sherd taxi to nukus or urgench ?
I'm not sure if you will find any shared taxi at the border. If so, probably only to Kungrad, likely not to Nukus, certainly not to Urgench. There might be "international" shared taxis from Beineu all the way to Kungrad though; I think crossing it on foot should be a last resort only. Keep in mind that this area is extremely sparsely populated. Beineu is 90 km from the border, Kungrad is 340 km in the other direction and there is no larger town in between.
unfortunately my trip schedule do not match the train time table, based on what i've found online; somewhere i read that there's a daily train between beyneu and nukus, but i can't find an evidence of it. do you know something about that ?
There is no single daily train, the train Nukus-Beineu runs three times a week and the train Tashkent-Volgograd stopping in Urgench, Nukus and Beineu runs two times a week. There are also the Tajik Railways' trains Dushanbe/Kulyab/Khujand-Volgograd, all of them running once weekly stopping in Kungrad and Beineu (but not in Nukus or Urgench). This means that there is a cross-border train on most days, you just might have to go to Kungrad. Pre-Covid, it was hard to get tickets for the Tajik trains (if not going to/from Tajikistan), but nowadays it might be possible to simply book them online.
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BikesAndBackpacks
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Re: Aktau to Nukus by train

Post by BikesAndBackpacks »

I just did this trip. I bought both tickets at the station in Mangistau for 14000 Tenge (about $30). I took the 15:40 train which got into Beyneu at 22:50. We arrived on time. We started boarding the 04:11 train from Beyneu to Nukus around 1 am so I got to take a short nap before customs. Customs took forever. They searched everyone's luggage and brought multiple dogs on the train. We departed from the Uzbekistan customs around 7:30 and arrived in Nukus at 17:30, around 20 minutes early.

Some Notes:
Bus 105 in Aktau goes to the station supposedly every 10 minutes. It costs 160 Tenge and takes around 45 minutes. It gets very crowded.
There are several restaurants near the Beyneu station. I got some nice chicken shish kebab for 1000 tenge.
The Uzbekistan border guard asked for my printed eVisa.
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alberto.zamperetti
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Re: Aktau to Nukus by train

Post by alberto.zamperetti »

Hello everyone,

I've just completed the journey I was seeking information about, and I'm here to provide guidance for anyone who might find themselves in a similar situation in the future:

I crossed the border on a day when there were no trains running between Beyneu and Nukus. Despite checking with all the ticket offices in Mangiustau and Beyneu, I was informed that there would be no train service on that day.

I took a night train from Mangiustau to Beyneu, arriving at 6 am. Upon disembarking, it was straightforward to find a shared taxi to the border (costing around $5-10 per person). The journey took approximately 30-40 minutes, as the road conditions were excellent and the taxi driver drove at a brisk pace.

Upon reaching the border, if you are crossing on foot, you can bypass the queues quite easily. However, expect the process to take around 45 minutes to 1 hour due to various checks on both sides.

After crossing the border, there are several taxis available, making it simple to arrange transportation to Nukus or Kungrad (just make sure to learn how to pronounce the city names correctly in Uzbek!). I paid $80 for the entire car ride to Nukus. While I believe I may have overpaid due to being European (which tends to inflate prices), we were in a hurry and there were two of us. However, if you're willing to wait for other passengers and share the ride, you can potentially save $20 or more each.

The journey to Nukus took 8 hours and was quite intense. The old road is in a state of disrepair, while the new road is still under construction. However, the driver navigated between them as best as possible, sometimes resorting to off-road routes. It's not a relaxing trip, particularly for the first 4-5 hours.

Upon reaching Nukus, we switched taxis for Khiva, which was a 3-4 hour drive costing $40 for the entire car. Again, I suspect I may have overpaid, but I was too tired to negotiate.

In conclusion, crossing the border on foot is feasible, but it's advisable to do so early in the morning. I cannot confirm if taxis are available in the afternoon or late evening, but if not, there is a small hotel nearby where you can spend the night, though this will result in some time loss.

hope it can be useful for somebody ;)

thanks and gooooooodby
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