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New high speed rail to boost economy of SW China

Source:   Time:

GUIYANG, June 17 (Xinhua) -- A new high speed rail line connecting southwest China's Guizhou Province with the economically better-off eastern regions will open on Thursday.

The six-station line connects Xinhuang, a county bordering Guizhou in Hunan Province, and Guiyang, provincial capital of Guizhou. The track is 286 kilometers and forms part of the high-speed rail connecting Shanghai and southwest China's Kunming City, according to Chengdu Railway Bureau which administers the section.

With a speed of 300 kilometers per hour, the high speed rail will shorten the train journey between Guiyang and Changsha, provincial capital of Hunan, from 12 to three hours. It will take nine hours for people to travel from Guiyang to Beijing or Shanghai, compared 30 hours of travel using regular trains.

The new rail is expected to promote economic exchange between the eastern, central and western China, and bring business opportunities to Guizhou, an economically disadvantaged province with rich tourism and ethnic culture.

Deputy director of the provincial tourism bureau Yu Ling said Guizhou boasts a good environment, beautiful Karst landscapes and splendid ethnic culture.The high speed rail will make it more convenient for tourists to visit from the rest of the country.

Zhang Shulin, official with local government of Qiandongnan Prefecture, said the prefecture is focusing on modern logistics, services and tourism to meet the opportunities brought by the new rail line.

According to railway construction authorities of Guizhou, construction on the rail, which began in 2010, was challenged by rugged terrain and the complicated geology of Guizhou. Altitudes of the rail ranges from 300 to 1,400 meters. A total of 89.7 percent of the line runs through tunnels and bridges.

The Shanghai-Kunming rail is the longest east-west passenger rail line in China so far, with 2,264 of track running through eastern, central and western China.

The line connecting Shanghai and Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province was opened in 2010. The section between Hangzhou and Changsha and the section between Changsha and Xinhuang were both opened in December 2014.

The section between Guiyang to Kunming, which is under construction, is scheduled to start operation next year.

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