Lanzhou–Xinjiang high-speed railway
|Lanzhou–Xinjiang high-speed railway|
|Locale|| People's Republic of China|
|Termini||Lanzhou railway station|
Ürümqi railway station
|Opened||November 16, 2014 (Urumqi–Qumul)
December 2014 (Qumul–Lanzhou)
|Operator(s)||China Railway Lanzhou Group|
China Railway Qingzang Group
China Railway Ürümqi Group
|Line length||1,776 km (1,104 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
|Minimum radius||7,000 m (22,966 ft)|
|Operating speed||200–250 km/h (124–155 mph)|
The Lanzhou–Xinjiang high-speed railway, also known as Lanzhou–Xinjiang Passenger Railway or Lanxin Second Railway (simplified Chinese: 兰新铁路第二双线; traditional Chinese: 蘭新鐵路第二雙線; pinyin: lánxīn tiělù dìèr shuāngxiàn), is a high-speed rail in northwestern China from Lanzhou in Gansu Province to Ürümqi in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
Construction work began on November 4, 2009. The 1,776-kilometre (1,104 mi) railway took four years to complete, of which, 795 kilometres (494 mi) is in Gansu, 268 kilometres (167 mi) in Qinghai and 713 kilometres (443 mi) in Xinjiang. Track laying for the line was completed on November 16, 2013. 31 stations will be built along the line. The project costs 143.5 billion yuan.
Unlike the existing Lanxin railway, which runs entirely in Gansu and Xinjiang, the new high-speed rail is routed from Lanzhou to Xining in Qinghai Province before heading northwest across the Qilian Mountains into the Hexi Corridor at Zhangye. The rail tracks in the section near Qilianshan No. 2 Tunnel is at 3,607 metres (11,834 ft) above sea level, making it the highest high-speed rail track in the world.
The first high speed train traveled over this line on June 3, 2014. This was a test train with a media contingent with full revenue service not due to start until the end of 2014. The first segment of the line, the Ürümqi-Qumul part, was inaugurated on November 16, 2014. This high-speed railway segment is the first ever railway of that kind to ever exist in the Xinjiang autonomous region. The rest of the line opened on December 26, 2014. The line cuts train travel time between the two cities from 20 hours to 12 hours.
On November 30, 2017, a connection between the Lanzhou–Xinjiang high-speed railway and the "conventional" Southern Xinjiang Railway will open near Daynhe Town (near Turpan Railway Station). This will allow passenger trains traveling from Urumqi to destinations in southern Xinjiang (such as Korla) to use the Urumqi-Turpan section of the high-speed line before switching to the Southern Xinjiang Railway.
Wind shed risk
Near Shanshan, the railway passes through the hundred-li wind zone, where desert wind constantly blows most days of a year. In 2007, strong wind overturned a train on the southern branch of Lanxin Railway, and four people were killed. A 67 kilometres (42 mi) long wind-protection gallery has been built next to the tracks in this region.
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