Railway linking major Silk Road towns opens in NW China

08:17, December 31, 2010      

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A railway linking Kashi and Hotan in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region opened Thursday for cargo transportation, and passenger transport is expected to begin in June, according to a local official.

The railway, with a cost about 5.1 billion yuan (773 million U.S. dollars), covers 488.27 kilometers running through the south part of Xinjiang, an important section of the ancient Silk Road.

The railroad is expected to have an annual freight volume of 15 million tons, and carry ten passenger trains every day, said Tang Shisheng, director of the Urumqi Railway Bureau..

The Kashi-Hotan railway will help promote the development of Xinjiang' s mining industry, tourism and agriculture, said Tang.

Construction of the railway began in December 2008.

The Ministry of Railways and Xinjiang regional government will invest 310 billion yuan to build more than 8,000 kilometers of railway in Xinjiang during the next 10 years.

Source: Xinhua
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