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Beitun-Altay Railway gets rolling in Xinjiang

By Xin Wen | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-06-12 17:30

Beitun-Altay Railway gets rolling in Xinjiang

The train leaves the station in Altay, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, June 10, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua] 

Trains began running on the Beitun-Altay Railway in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region yesterday, finally connecting the city to China’s national railway network.

The 67.5- kilometer line, which has taken three years to build, is an extension of the Kuytun-Beitun Railway.

Three passenger services started on the first day: one between Urumqi, the regional capital, and Beitun; another connecting Urumqi and Altay; and one linking Karamay in the north with Kashgar in the west.

People in Urumqi can now travel to Altay in nine hours, rather than taking a 13-hour bus ride.

The region’s railway authority said it plans to launch passenger services linking Altay with cities outside Xinjiang.

Another rail line connecting Altay and Urumqi, which will travel along the eastern side of the existing railway, will be completed in 2019, according to Yu Minghai, chairman of Xinjiang Beitun-Altay Railway Co.

By then, a railway loop around northern Xinjiang will be completed, he said.

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