High-speed railway makes travel more convenient, brings tourism boom to Xinjiang
Global Times


Attendants and passengers celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Lanzhou-Xinjiang high-speed railway over the weekend. (Photo: GT)

The Lanzhou-Xinjiang high-speed railway, which has been in operation for five years, has brought travel convenience for local people and brought a tourism boom to the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

The line, which connects Lanzhou, the capital city of northwest China's Gansu Province, with Urumqi, the capital city of Xinjiang, is the first long-distance high-speed line in China's Western region.

Since its opening on November 16, 2014, the railway's Xinjiang section has safely transported 30.75 million passengers, playing an important role in promoting coordinated economic development and convenient travel, according to a statement China Railway sent to the Global Times on Monday. 

A local resident said the rail link enables him to travel between his workplace in Urumqi to his home of Kumul - a distance of 597.9 kilometers - in just two and a half hours.

Daily services on the Xinjiang section have risen from the initial 6.5 round trips to 43 now, of which 15 are general-speed trains, the statement read.

The rail line has driven a tourism boom, as domestic and foreign visitors have come to the region through the railway.

From January to October this year, Xinjiang received more than 201 million tourists, up 42.6 percent year-on-year, while tourism income reached 341.73 billion yuan ($48.7 billion), an increase of 43.4 percent, both hitting new highs, according to the website of the Xinjiang regional government.

The length of railways operating in Xinjiang stands at 6,568 kilometers, and it is expected to reach 9,126 kilometers by 2021. The railway system will cover more areas in Xinjiang in the future, said China Railway.