Preliminary construction of a railway from Golmud in Qinghai province to Kuerle in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region began on Sunday, regional rail authorities said.
The 1,214 kmelectricpowered link traverses Xinjiang’s Altun Mountain. It is expected to be completed in five years at a cost of 37.6 billion yuan ($6.13 billion). The railway will handle eight pairs of passenger trains a day and 26 million metric tons of cargo a year.
The railway is the third one linking Xinjiang to the inland provinces, other than the Lanzhou (Gansu province)-Xinjiang and Hami-Ejin (Inner Mongolia autonomous region) lines. It forms part of the regional rail network and a significant link in the overland energy route towardwest Asia.