Train Almaty - Bishkek

The Silk Road by train. Experts: Milad, Provodnik
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pikdonker
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Train Almaty - Bishkek

Post by pikdonker »

I'm planning to visit Central Asia this year, from the end of August to somewhere in the middle of September. I'm planning to travel from Almaty to Bishkek, and considering my options for this part of the journey.. Most obvious way is by marshrutka, but I noticed there is the Novokuznetck (sp?) - Bishkek train which stops in Almaty, although I can't really find any experiences/reviews of this train.

Does anyone here have anything to say about it? I know it will take around 8 hours longer than traveling by road, but I like trainjourneys and probably have the time so I am considering it..
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steven
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Re: Train Almaty - Bishkek

Post by steven »

If you click on train rating here and put it in Gtranslate you get some ratings

https://www.tutu.travel/poezda/rasp_d.p ... 23.04.2018

A typical Post-Soviet train journey I would say.
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pikdonker
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Re: Train Almaty - Bishkek

Post by pikdonker »

Thanks for your answer, though those reviews aren't that useful unfortunately.. I'm not really worried about the cold or cockroaches.. :)

Do you have any idea if the longer travel time (and added cost, as far as I can tell the train is about 20 euros more expensive than a marshrutka) is worth it scenery-wise?

Btw, who thinks of running a train service once every 8 days?? And according to tutu it seems to skip a day in June, so if it's running on a day that would be useful to me in the end of August is anybody's guess.. :?
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Valikhanov
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Re: Train Almaty - Bishkek

Post by Valikhanov »

If you are already familiar with these kinds of trains and only looking for scenic views, I would doubt that the journey is very interesting.
At least for the part between Almaty and Chu (first 6 hours) there is not much to see. Mainly hills, meadows and occasional cattle grazing there. The big mountains are too far away to be seen.
I haven´t done the Chu-Bishkek part.

If you go by marshrutka, you´ll propably see a bit more of the mountains, since they don´t take a detour through the plains. Also, i found it fun to cross the border by foot (you have to leave the vehicle, go through passtport-control, then cross a little stream with nice view towards the mountains, pass through the next control and then finally board your marshrutka again.)

If you take the train, don´t forget, that there are two stations in Almaty; Almaty 1 (where your train will be leaving) is pretty far out; taxi will be about 30 min depending on the traffic.
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pikdonker
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Re: Train Almaty - Bishkek

Post by pikdonker »

Thanks for your answer!

I guess I'll decide closer to september, still leaning towards the train though.. If I do take the train I'll report back!

Oh and thanks about pointing out the two stations thing! (although I had noticed that detail, still important )
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FerroWorldII
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Re: Train Almaty - Bishkek

Post by FerroWorldII »

You have to go first by train to Chu and then get the Kazan-Bishkek train to arrive there.
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