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Three High-speed Railway Lines Drive Western China's HSR Construction


CHONGQING – Currently, Chongqing has three high-speed railways under construction, building a modern comprehensive transportation hub cluster with Chengdu, Chongqing, and Guiyang as the main hubs. Once completed, they will upgrade the city’s transportation service level and drive Western China’s high-speed rail construction in full swing. 

“I just felt it’s so fast as if someone was whipping at the back,” these are the words from Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, amazed by the Shinkansen on a visit to modern Japan in 1978. “It was just right for us,” he added.

At that time, most people could not imagine that more than 30 years later, China’s high-speed rail had deeply affected everyone’s life and become a famed national brand.

China Railway High-speed (CRH) is the world’s largest high-speed rail network. Lines operating at speeds of up to 300 kilometers per hour total more than 15,000 kilometers, accounting for more than two-thirds of that of the world.

The operation of high-speed rail has brought about significant changes in how people live and work in China: it has promoted the economic development of the regions along the railways and brought China further towards a “high-speed rail society,” making neighboring provinces a “daily life circle.” By the end of 2021, China’s high-speed rail reached 93% of cities with a population of more than 500,000.

In western China, high-speed rail construction is still in full swing. With two megacities of Chongqing and Chengdu, the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle is widely regarded as the “fourth pole” of China’s economy. The future development of this region will depend on the construction of high-speed rail networks.

In the Chongqing region, the Chengdu-Chongqing Central line, the Xi’an-Chongqing high-speed railway, and the Chongqing-Kunming high-speed railway are the three most important lines under construction. They will not only strengthen the transportation links within the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle but also enhance communication with other provinces in the northwest and southwest regions.

A bridge for the Chongqing-Kunming highspeed railway is under construction. (Photo/Hu Zhiqiang, Xinhua News)

“The Chengdu-Chongqing Central line will be built into a high-speed railway with the highest construction standard and the fastest operation speed in China,” said Wang Weigao, commander of the railway construction headquarter.

After completion, the travel time between Chengdu and Chongqing will be shortened to less than one hour, and Chongqing to Shanghai will only take about six hours.

The Xi’an-Chongqing high-speed railway will connect Chongqing’s northeastern region, close to the Daba Mountains, to the high-speed rail network, shortening the time for passengers in this region to travel to the hinterland of the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle. The railway also eventually connects Chongqing with Xi’an, the ancient capital of many dynasties of China, with many historical and cultural attractions.

The Chongqing-Kunming high-speed railway will connect Chongqing with Yibin, another regional center city. The railway will finally link Chongqing to Kunming, the regional center city of Yunnan province.


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