A new high-speed train linking Lanzhou in Gansu province and Baoji in Shaanxi province left from Lanzhou West Railway Station yesterday morning. With an operating speed of 250 km/h, the Baoji-Lanzhou railway line reduces travel times between Xi'an and Lanzhou from six hours to just three hours.
The new route connects northwest China's Gansu and Qinghai provinces, as well as Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, to the country's rapidly expanding high-speed rail network. Until the completion of the Baoji-Lanzhou link, the 1,776 km Lanzhou-Xinjiang high-speed rail line in the north western region, which was completed in 2014, was unable to reach central and eastern China.
Crossing many mountainous regions, 93% of the Baoji-Lanzhou railway's entire length comprises of tunnels and bridge structures, which brought many challenges and slowed down construction.
Now, China's high-speed rail line network measures 22,000 km, accounting for more than 60% of the total high-speed railway lines in the world. By 2020, the total high-speed railway line network is planned to be extended to 30,000 km, covering 80% of China's big cities.