I'm looking for a novel about a man working as a train station manager in Kazakhstan. The train station is in a remote location in a plains environment, and only rarely do trains pass. He works and lives there alone with his wife. The story's time setting is some time between the second world war and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The station was used during the war to transport weapons and other war time material, but now it is all but forgotten.
There is a recurring mantra in the book that goes something like "From west to east the track goes", and then something about the wind and the plains. It is repeated several times, possibly every chapter. The climate is very harsh, with lots of wind, and cold, snowy winters. It is made clear that life is very rough there, but that he knows nothing else.
The main character also has a herd of camels, where the leader camel (a male) is his favorite. He describes it as strong and majestic, with a hot temperament. He rides it at least once, and it can run further and at greater speeds than other camels. I think its color is black.
He has a wife as well, at least for part of the story, but I can't remember if he has children. A few times he travels to a nearby city, and I think he goes there with his wife at one time, or possibly that he met his wife during one of the trips.
I have a vague memory of a UFO as well. That he saw a vision of one landing close by, or that the aliens communicated with him. I'm not 100% sure of this memory, it might come from other books I read around the same time.
I don't know anything about the author or original language. I read it in English or Swedish around 2010 (+-2 years).
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