Harbin–Manzhouli Railway

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The K7209 train between Qiqihar and Manzhouli.

Harbin–Manzhouli Railway or Binzhou Railway (simplified Chinese: 滨洲铁路; traditional Chinese: 濱洲鐵路; pinyin: bīnzhōu tiělù), is a double-track electrified arterial railroad in Northeast China between Harbin and Manzhouli on the Russian border. The line was originally built by Russia as the western branch of the Chinese Eastern Railway. Today, the 934.8 km (581 mi) Binzhou Railway remains a major rail transport corridor across Northeast China, traversing Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang Province. Major cities and towns along route include Manzhouli, Hailar, Yakeshi and Zhalantun in Inner Mongolia, and Qiqihar, Daqing, Anda and Harbin in Heilongjiang.

Line Description[edit]

The Binzhou Railway begins in the west at Manzhouli's border crossing to Russia and runs eastward across the Hulunbuir grasslands, through the forests of the Greater Khingan range, the oilfields of Daqing and rich farmland of the Songhua River valley to Harbin.[1]

History[edit]

The Binzhou Railway Bridge across the Songhua River in Harbin.

The Harbin–Manzhouli Railway was built as the western branch of the Chinese Eastern Railway (ECR) by Czarist Russia from 1897 to 1902 with a concession from the Qing Dynasty. The line was known as the Haman Railway or the Western Line.[1] The eastern branch of the ECR ran from Harbin to Suifenhe. The entire ECR served as an alternative route to the Trans-Siberian Railway. The railway was controlled by White Russians for a time during the Russian Civil War, and was jointly administered by the Soviet Union and the Republic of China from 1924 to 1935, when the USSR sold the ECR to Japan.[1] After the end of the World War II, the USSR regained control of the railway until 1952 when it was given to the People's Republic of China.[2] The Harbin-Manzhouli line has since undergone substantial upgrades.[1] The entire line has been double-tracked and electrified. The Manzhouli-Hailar section was the last to be double-tracked, in 2007.[3] The line's carrying capacity increased six-fold.[3]

The Binzhou Railway Bridge, which was built in 1901, is now a historical landmark protected by the city of Harbin.[4]

Rail junctions[edit]

Sino-Russian border crossing at Manzhouli.

See also[edit]

References[edit]