New railway to Xinjiang under construction

XINING, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- Full-scale construction of a new railway that links the far western Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region with the neighboring Qinghai Province started on Sunday.

The 1,213-km-long line, which links Golmud in Qinghai and Korla in Xinjiang, is another railway line linking the remote area with other parts of the country besides the Lanxin railway linking the regional capital of Urumqi with Lanzhou, capital of Gansu Province.

Construction began in the Qinghai section on Sunday. Work began in the Xinjiang section on Nov. 16. At a cost of 37.64 billion yuan (6.15 billion U.S. dollars), the project is scheduled to take five years.

The new line is of great strategic significance as abundant oil and mineral resources are scattered along the line, said Sun Faping, deputy head of the Qinghai provincial academy of social sciences.

The line will cut the traffic time between Golmud and Korla from 26 hours to 12 hours.

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