The Silk Route and Central Asia by Train. The most usual route from Europe to China is via the classic Trans-Siberian Railway, shown in blue on the map below. But there is another route now open to foreigners, the so-called 'Silk Route' via Kazakhstan, shown on the map in yellow. You can also use trains to reach Central Asia from Europe and Moscow. This page will explain routes, train times, costs and how to buy tickets.
In modern contexts, all definitions of Central Asia include these five republics of the former Soviet Union: Uzbekistan (30 million), Kazakhstan (17 million), Tajikistan (8 million), Kyrgyzstan (5.7 million) and Turkmenistan (5.2 million), for a total population of about 66 million as of 2013–2014. Afghanistan (31.1 million) is also sometimes included.