China has opened the last section of an east-west high-speed railway corridor that stretches from Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, to Urumqi, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
According to a China Daily report, the last 185km-long segment between Lianyungang and Xuzhou was opened this week. The line will reduce the journey time between these two locations to less than an hour.
The opening marks the completion of the 3,422km railway passage that passes through the provinces of Jiangsu, Anhui, Henan, Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai and Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
The first section of the project that runs from Zhengzhou, capital of Henan province, to Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi province, started operating in 2010.
Last year, China unveiled plans to expand the railway network to around 200,000km by the end of 2035 by focusing on improving connectivity with remote and underdeveloped regions.
The plan includes increasing the high-speed railway network to 70,000km. As of August 2020, China had around 36,000km of high-speed rail lines.
Last November, China’s National Development and Reform Committee (NDRC) approved a CNY85.1bn ($12.86bn) high-speed rail project in the southwestern part of the country.
The project will involve building 270-miles (432.4km) of railway connecting Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, with the cities through to Chongqing municipality.
In January 2021, Alstom announced the completion of around seven metro projects across three of mainland China’s top ten populous cities in the last two months.