An update about the train route "Nukus to Aktau via Beyneu".
Nukus, a less travelled city in western Uzbekistan, and we paid a visit in early Oct 2016 not for anything but the departure for Kazakhstan from Uzbekistan by the train route below:
- * Nukus (Нукус, 17:25 local time) - Beyneu (Бейнеу, 06:20 Astana time next day)
* Beyneu (06:50 Astana time) - Aktau (Мангышлак , 14:10 Astana time)
We eventually arrived in Aktau 20 hours after we boarded the train, but with 2 unexpected mistakes.
The first mistake: booked train tickets online in advance
For the Nukus - Beyneu train service, I did some research but got not much on Internet or misleading information from Samarkand train ticket office as we were even told that no foreigners are allowed for the route. In terms of this, we were a bit nervous about the travel plan because we didn’t have much time for delays as we only had a 15 day Uzbekistan visa.
Later I accidentally found Kazakhstan Railways recently launched a multi-language train ticket booking website, including English. See  for the URL. Most importantly, it sort of confirmed the route is doable because it let me book tickets and complete the payment online without warnings!
At the Nukus railway station on the departure day, we saw a train timetable on the wall which indicated 2 regular services to Beyneu:
The second mistake: I thought 30 minutes of train connection time was enough.
- * Daily service #647 departing at 05:45 from Nukus to Beyneu, and
* Service #333 travelling from Tashkent Uzbekistan to Novosibirsk Russia via Beyneu stops by Nukus at 17:25 every Tuesday and Thursday. It’s the one we booked online.
As you’ve read above, we booked 2 train services online and the transfer time was 30 minutes.
Our train departed from Nukus on time at 17:26 local time, and arrived and stopped at the Uzbekistan - Kazakhstan border at 00:50 next day. No one was allowed to leave the train or even use the toilet while travel document check was performing. Our luggage didn’t get checked this time but photos on my laptop again were reviewed. Train carriages were searched entirely by the Uzbekistan soldiers though. The whole thing happened on the Uzbekistan border zone last approx 2 hours.
03:00, the train finally got moved again. However Stacy and I expected it would stop shortly again as everything we experienced at the Uzbekistan border should happen as well on the Kazakhstan side. However we were too tired so fell asleep immediately after the train moved. When we woke up again, the train was approaching the Beyneu station in Kazakhstan. Hold on a sec, where’s the document/luggage check at the Kazakhstan border? When I looked out the window, I immediately realised those the border paper work is going to happen here, in Beyneu, instead of the actual border, as I saw several Kazakhstan soldiers approaching the train. This is bad news for us because the “actual” arrival time for us would be 06:20 plus the time for travel document checking. And there is a very good chance that the document checking might take longer than the time we had - 30 minutes of train connection time.
In the end, we had to watch our next train approached, and left again. The document checking took 1 hour, and during the time, train doors locked and no toilet use as expected.
Later at the Beyneu station we found out that the next service to Aktau was 14 hours later. Luckily I found an ATM in town which meant we had cash with more options: to find a place to rest and wait for the next cheap but slow train service, or to find a shared taxi and leave immediately.
We opted for the latter, paid 5,000 KZT person, and arrived in Aktau 5 hours later. We paid more than doubled not only for the trip but also a lesson and learn! Hopefully our experience will help those who want to do a similar route in the future.
 Aktau is called “Мангышлак” on Kazakhstan train timetable.
 KAZAKHSTAN TEMIR ZHOLY, http://rail-travel.kz/
Note: This is originally posted to "See ya on the road" on http://www.cyaontheroad.com/post/152905 ... u-by-train
. Please visit for photos about the train journey.