The Kyrgyz railway network consists of two lines, built to Russian standard gauge (1520mm) during the Soviet era. The more northerly of these lines enters the country from Kazakhstan and runs via Bishkek to Balykchy on the shores of the Issyk-Kul (Warm Lake), a distance of about 250km. The much shorter southern line enters from Uzbekistan and serves the city of Osh, with branches to Jalal-Abad and Kyzyl-Kiya.
Local passenger train services operate from Bishkek to Kar-Balta and Tokmok. International services operate from Bishkek to various destinations in Kazakhstan and Russia. A summer only service operates through the spectacular mountain scenery between Bishkek and Balykchy; one weekly service during the season connects Balychky with Toshkent in Uzbekistan. No passenger services operate on the southern line.
Proposals exist for a new rail link with China from the southern line, forming part a through route from China to Uzbekistan and ultimately the Caucasus and Turkey.
Photo image by Thomas Depenbusch (Depi) from Wikimedia Commons