China's 'most difficult to build' railway to open

08:32, December 22, 2010      

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A railway touted as the most difficult to build in the country that cuts through southwestern China's rugged mountains with hundreds of bridges and tunnels, will open this week.

The maiden train journey will leave Yichang city, central Hubei province, Wednesday morning and arrive in Wanzhou district, Chongqing, two hours later. The Yichang-Wanzhou Railway will become fully operational on Jan 11, 2011, said Guo Bing, an official of the Yichang section of the Wuhan Railway Bureau.

It used to take 22 hours to travel by train from Chongqing to Wuhan, but when the new line opens it will only take five hours. Travel time from other central or eastern Chinese cities to southwest China will also be greatly reduced, railway officials said.

Engineers and work crews took seven years to complete the 377-kilometer railway on a stretch of mountains on the eastern edge of Yunnan-Guizhou plateau.

The railway includes 159 tunnels and 253 bridges.

The railway is also China's most expensive one in terms of cost per kilometer. It cost about 60 million yuan ($9 million) to build each kilometer of the railway, comparing to Qinghai-Tibet Railway's 29 million yuan per km.

Source: Xinhua
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