The first metro line in the Kazakhstan capital of Almaty was opened in December after 23 years of construction. The smart, pristine architecture of stations and trains has led many to agree it has been worth the wait. Residents have reportedly visited just to admire it. Even a wedding was held rather a trip on its 8.5km single line.

Construction was halted with the dissolution of the USSR, to be resumed in 2005. The line has seven spotless stations four at deep levels and three sub-surface, which feature marble floors, intricate mosaics and even stained glass windows. The estimated cost was around USD 1bn.

The project contractors, JSC Almatymetrokurylys, have a long history of underground works including metros in Krasnoyarsk and Kazan, tunnels on the Baikal-Amur railway, various underground facilities in the cities of Novosibirsk, Moscow and Tashkent and mining in Kasakhstan. Plans exist for an expansion of the Almaty metro system to a total of 45km

The alignment includes seven stations