Bul­let train line will reach grot­toes

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By JIANG CHENGLONG and MA JINGNA Con­tact the writ­ers at jiangchen­g­long@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

Tourists will be able to reach Dun­huang, Gansu prov­ince, di­rectly by high­speed train soon and see its fa­mous Mo­gao Grot­toes among other sites, af­ter a high-speed train reached the city dur­ing a test run on Wed­nes­day.

On Wed­nes­day morn­ing, a test bul­let train from Ji­ayuguan, Gansu, ar­rived at Dun­huang rail sta­tion, mark­ing the city’s first con­nec­tiv­ity to the high-speed rail net­work, Dun­huang au­thor­i­ties said on the city’s of­fi­cial so­cial me­dia ac­count.

“Dun­huang only has a 160-kilo­me­ter reg­u­lar rail­way con­nect­ing with other cities in Gansu so peo­ple can only get there now by or­di­nary train,” said an of­fi­cial at the Lanzhou Rail­way Bureau’s pub­lic­ity of­fice, who de­clined to be named.

“The 3-kilo­me­ter rail­way con­struc­tion was fin­ished. It will con­nect the reg­u­lar rail­way to the Lanzhou-Xin­jiang high-speed line, the only one in north­west Gansu, so that bul­let trains can ar­rive in Dun­huang.”

The of­fi­cial said the test train will be fully checked to en­sure it can run along the whole jour­ney safely. “Al­though the high-speed train’s run­ning speed hasn’t been de­cided upon, it’s cer­tain that the com­mut­ing time of tourists head­ing to Dun­huang will be re­duced,” he said.

Now, there are only three di­rect reg­u­lar trains from Lanzhou to Dun­huang per day, and the jour­ney takes over 12 hours.

“What’s more im­por­tant, Dun­huang will be in­cor­po­rated into the na­tional high-speed rail­way net­work, so that vis­i­tors from ma­jor cities in other parts of China — in­clud­ing Xi’an, Beijing, Shang­hai and Wuhan — can reach Dun­huang much faster than ever be­fore,” he said.

Dun­huang was a ma­jor stop on the an­cient Silk Road and is best known for the nearby Mo­gao Grot­toes, a UNESCO World Her­itage Site con­tain­ing some of the finest ex­am­ples of Bud­dhist art.

Ac­cord­ing to the Dun­huang tourism ad­min­is­tra­tion, over 9 mil­lion peo­ple vis­ited Dun­huang in 2017, up 12.3 per­cent year-on-year.

Wang Weiang, 23, vis­ited Gansu last year. She took the bul­let train from Beijing to Lanzhou and then trav­eled to the Mo­gao Grot­toes, by bus.

“It’s quite painful to sit on a bus for over seven hours a day,” she said. “I re­ally want to visit the Mo­gao Grot­toes one more time. It would great to get there by bul­let train.”

Chen Jinye, di­rec­tor of the ad­min­is­tra­tion, also be­lieves less com­mut­ing time will at­tract more vis­i­tors from ma­jor cities and ben­e­fit lo­cal tourism devel­op­ment.

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