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Samarkand to reinstate trams after 43 years

Toshkent Vario LF tram 2005 in the depot on 16 October. The following day it started its journey to Samarkand. (A. Myskin)

Less than a year after the sudden closure of tramway operation in Toshkent (Uzbekistan), interim President Shavkat Mirziyoyev announced on 5 October that a new line would be built in Samarkand.
The tramway will connect Siab Bazar in the city centre with the south-west suburb of Sat-Tepo. It is hoped to open the first 8km (five miles) of the new line on 21 March 2017 for the Navruz festival. One reason this timescale may be achievable is that the system will be operated by the 20 Pragoimex Vario LF purchased by Toshkent from the Czech Republic in 2011, which have stood unused in their depot since May 2016. Delivery to Samarkand
started in October. Some Tatra T6 cars may join them.
Samarkand, which has a population of 500 000 and is twinned with Turkish tram city Ekisehir, previously operated trams from 1947 to 1973. The city is a UNESCO world heritage site.