Construction of new railway in China's Xinjiang could finish early

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/27 23:10:42

Photo taken on September 25, 2020 shows the construction site of Hotan-Ruoqiang railway in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Photo:Xinhua

A new railway linking Hotan prefecture and Ruoqiang county in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is expected to be put into operation in June, 2022 or perhaps sooner, a project manager told the Global Times.

With a designed speed of 120 kilometers per hour, the fully completed railway line is expected to slash travel time between Hotan prefecture in Xinjiang and Xining, capital of Northwest China's Qinghai Province, from three days to just one, a project manager surnamed Ma said. The project will bring rail service to five counties in Southern Xinjiang, and integrate Southern Xinjiang into a vast network of railways along Belt and Road routes.

Construction of the 825-kilometer railway traverses the southern edge of the Taklamakan Desert, which is known as the world's second-largest shifting-sand desert. Track-laying work in a 400-kilometer section of the railways runs through the desert, a director surnamed Hu in the engineering management department of the project told the Global Times. 

"Sand storms in the Taklamakan Desert pose potential obstacles in track-laying work, but we have fully mastered technologies for desert railway construction," Hu said.

A 150-meter-wide green belt is being built at a cost of 1.4 billion yuan ($205 million) along 500 kilometers of the rail line, according to Ma.

"We have completed 90 percent of the construction of the roadbed and finished 170-kilometers of track laying," Ma said.

The rail line will be connected to the Golmud-Korla railway that links the city of Korla in Xinjiang and Golmud in Qinghai, and serves as an important component of a cross-border trade route connecting China and countries in South and West Asia. 


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