New Chengdu-Kunming Railway to enter service on Monday; strengthening link between Southwest China and ASEAN
By Global Times Published: Dec 24, 2022 03:43 PM
All sections of the 915-kilometer-long new Chengdu-Kunming Railway will be open for traffic along with the completion of the Emei-Mianning section expected on Monday. The new railway will further improve the railway network in Southwest China, boost economic and social development in the ethnic minority regions and promote high-level opening-up.
Train tickets for the new Chengdu-Kunming Railway already went on sale on Saturday, China State Railway Group Co said in a statement it sent to the Global Times the same day.
With the 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 as well as Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture and Kunming in Southwest China’s Yunnan Province, according to the group.
Photo: China RailwayDue to complex geological conditions, the Chengdu-Kunming Railway has been constructed and opened in different sections according to engineering difficulty and traveler demand. As of Saturday, all the sections except the one linking Emei and Mianning have been open for traffic.
The construction of the 240-kilometer-long Emei-Mianning section started in April 2016, with nine stations along the route. China Railway has organized testing and safety evaluation for each item of equipment, and improved track, train control and communications system, and now China Railway considers the section is ready for traffic.
The existing Chengdu-Kunming Railway was 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 engineering geological conditions, finishing the railway was a monumental task. It was praised as one of the three masterpieces created by mankind in conquering nature during the 20th century.
Along with increasing demand, the capacity of the existing Chengdu-Kunming Railway has been gradually maxed out, and thus the 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 as part of the country’s Western Region Development strategy, and is also an important part of the railway network linking China’s southwestern region with ASEAN members.
“Its opening for traffic further improves the railway network in the southwestern region, enhances rail transport capacity, brings convenience to local residents and for cargo transport,” the group said in the statement, noting that it’s important to explore resources along the rail link, support ethnic minority regions to accelerate development, cement rural revitalization achievements and promote high-quality opening-up.