All about Uzbekistan.
It seems like this is still a problem. I bought an online ticket from Nukus to Atyrau on railways.kz and after hearing from someone else that they had problems with their ticket went to the train station the day before. I had extended conversations with several people - and they called several people - and all flatly refused my ticket. They told me that the woman who had taken the same train the week before had gotten the staff in trouble and they would not be doing this again. I managed to cancel my online ticket (although I'm not sure that I will get a refund) and am now having to buy a new ticket - at a much more expensive price since the inexpensive tickets are all gone. If you are traveling from Uzbekistan to Kazakhstan I would highly recommend buying your tickets in-person in Uzbekistan!
Will add my two cents as well to say that it *does* indeed still seem to be a problem. My partner and I decided to take it slow and do the train from Tashkent to Turkistan a few nights ago — but we bought the tickets from Kazakh railways, rather than Uzbekizstan railways. (I can’t remember why we did that — I think it was slightly cheaper on the Kazakh site at the time we booked). The Uzbek ticket person who has to stamp your ticket before you’re let on the train was obstinate that it wasn’t a valid ticket — “Kazakh tickets aren’t valid in Uzbekistan”. They sent me to the kassa to get an Uzbek-style ticket issued, but the kassa refused to do it, saying our e-tickets were sufficient, and sent me back to the station to talk to the station manager. A little bureaucratic ping pong ensued... Eventually, after a bunch of waiting and telling folks we didn’t speak Russian and looking hapless and helpless, one of the guys from the station took our tickets and went to the kassa himself and emerged, ten minutes later, with the Uzbek “ticket” printed on the back of the printout of our Kazakhstan e-ticket. My theory was that the kassa people knew it was fine to have an e-ticket but the staff in the station didn’t, but who knows... Would definitely recommend booking from Uzbek Railways in the future if your ride starts in Uzbekistan. There was at least one other person in the same boat as us, so I think the critical mass helped.
Just saw this thread and wanted to share my experience from 2019. We purchased all tickets from Kazakhstani sites, and each of them had a warning printed on them that the tickets would not be accepted without validation at the train stations in Uzbekistan. All we had to do was go to the kassa with our tickets, point to the warning, and they stamped the backs of each ticket. No issues!
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