There are basically three types of trains in Uzbekistan.
DAYTIME EXPRESS TRAINS
This trains run between Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara and Karshi:
no. 1/2 "Registon" Tashkent - Samarkand
no. 3/4 "Registon" Tashkent - Samarkand
no. 7/8 "Nasaf" Tashkent - Karshi
no. 9/10 "Sharq" Tashkent - Samarkand - Bukhara
This express trains have seating accomodation (usually 1st and 2nd class, alltough I didn't notice a big difference between 1st and 2nd class) similar to European trains. A snack and tea are included in the fare of such express trains.
There is usually a buffet-carriage.
The carriages of this trains are quite new and ususally air-conditioned. Express trains run fast: The 353 km between Tashkent and Samarkand can be travelled in less than 4 hours, the average speed is 92 km/h. Maximum speed is currently 120 km/h, which is maybe raised to 140 km/h from march 2011.
Uzbek railways have also ordered new Spanish trainsets (from Talgo company), eventually they will run at top speeds of 200 km/h or more, once they are operational.
Overnight trains run between Tashkent and Bukhara and also to the more remote parts of the country (Urgench, Nukus, Kungrad, Karshi, Termez, Andizhan). Also international trains (except the local train Kungrad - Bejneu) count to this category.
However, it is also possible to use such trains for shorter trips, e.g. from Tashkent to Samarkand.
Overnight-trains have up to four categories:
- spalnyj vagon (SV) - sleeping car with 2-bed-compartments, 18 places per carriage
- kupe (K) - sleeping car with 4-bed-compartments, 36 places per carriage
- plazkartnyj (P) - open "dormitory-style" couchette car, 54 place per carriage
- obshchyj (O) - same as plazkartnyj, but more people in one carriage, 81 places per carriage
Obshchyj is OK for shorter distances, but not recommended for overnight travel. Plazkartnyj allows a relatively good sleep and is recommended if you're on a tight budget.
Kupe is more spacious and offers more privacy. It's possible to lock the doors of the compartment. SV is similar to Kupe, but there are only two passengers per compartment, so you have even more privacy.
Every car has one or two conductors. They will check the tickets and take care about their passengers.
In every car there is a water-boiler, where you can take hot water at any time for preparing tee or instant coffee. This service is free. A small fee is usually payable for bed linen.
Restaurant cars are usually available on overnight trains.
LOCAL AND SUBURBAN TRAINS
Apart from the long distance trains there are also some local trains. These usually consist of plazkartnyj-cars used as obshchyj cars. Around Tashkent there are suburban trains ("Elektrichka") with seating accomodations.
Pictures of some Uzbek trains