Construction has begun on the 1,776km rail line that connects China's Xinjiang region to inland cities.
Under the 143.5bn yuan ($21bn) project, the new line is expected to be built parallel to the existing Lanxin railway.
Around 202 bridges, 14 tunnels and 12 stations are to be built in the 567km Xinjiang section alone.
The trains on the new line will reduce travel time from 20 hours to ten hours, according to chinadaily.com.
The new railway is expected to be used for passenger services only, while Lanxin Railway will continue to carry freight trains.
The rail line is to be operational by 2013.