New Chengdu-Kunming Railway enters service
Published: Dec 24, 2022 03:43 PM
Photo: CFP

Photo: CFP

The new 915-km Chengdu-Kunming Railway will be open for traffic on Monday, thanks to the completion of the Emei-Mianning section. The new line will improve the railway network in Southwest China, boost economic and social development in ethnic minorities' regions, and promote their opening-up.

Tickets for the new line went on sale on Saturday, China State Railway Group said in a statement it sent to the Global Times.

With a design speed of 160 kilometers per hour, the new railway runs through Chengdu, Meishan, Leshan, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture and Panzhihua in Southwest China's Sichuan Province and Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture and Kunming in Southwest China's Yunnan Province.

Photo: China Railway

Photo: China Railway

Due to complex geological conditions, the line was built and opened by different sections according to engineering difficulty and travel demand. As of Saturday, all the sections except the one linking Emei and Mianning were open for traffic.

Construction of the 240-kilometer Emei-Mianning section started in April 2016, with nine stations along the route. China Railway Group organized testing and safety evaluations, including the tracks, train control and communications system.

The existing Chengdu-Kunming Railway opened for traffic in July 1970. With a design speed of 80 kilometers per hour, its whole length is 1,096 kilometers. With complex terrain and landform as well as poor geological conditions for engineers, finishing the railway was a monumental task. It was acclaimed as one of the three masterpieces created by mankind during the 20th century.

Along with increasing demand, the capacity of the existing Chengdu-Kunming Railway has been gradually maxed out, so railway authorities decided to build the new Chengdu-Kunming Railway in regions along the existing route.

The new Chengdu-Kunming Railway is a key project of the country's Western Region Development Strategy, and it is also an important part of the railway network linking China's southwestern region with the ASEAN countries.

"Its opening for traffic further improves the railway network in the southwestern region, enhances rail transport capacity, and brings convenience to local residents and cargo transport," the railway group said in the statement, noting that it's important to explore resources along the rail link, support ethnic minorities regions to accelerate growth, cement rural revitalization achievements and promote high-quality economic development.

Global Times