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World's First Desert Rail Loop to Bridge Regional Growth

Source: Science and Technology Daily | 2022-06-23 10:46:16 | Author: WANG Xiaoxia


Anti -desertification and afforestation programs carried out along the Hotan-Ruoqiang railway. (PHOTO: XINHUA)

By WANG Xiaoxia

With the Hotan-Ruoqiang railway formally put into operation on June 16, the world's first desert rail loop line, encircling the Taklimakan, China's largest desert, was completed, and will assist with the region's coordinated development.

The newly opened line stretches 825km from Hotan city to Ruoqiang county, with a designed speed of 120km per hour, brought an end to the unavailability of train services in five counties and certain towns in southern Xinjiang, and shortens the travel time for locals.

Built along the southern edge of the Taklimakan, the Hotan-Ruoqiang railway encounters sandstorms and shifting sand dunes. Therefore, anti -desertification and afforestation programs were carried out during the construction of the railway.

In the areas that experience severe sandstorms, five bridges, with a total length of nearly 50 kilometers, lift the rail line to prevent damage caused by the invasion of the desert.

The Taklimakan Desert rail loop line was completed with the inauguration of Hotan-Ruoqiang railway.

The 2,712-km loop, linking major cities in Xinjiang, including Aksu, Kashgar, Hotan and Korla, is expected to accelerate the development and rural vitalization in southern part of Xinjiang.

It will facilitate the transportation and transaction of Xinjiang agricultural products and minerals, and boost local tourism by providing tourists with faster access to the region's rich cultural heritage, such as the ancient cities of Niya and Andir.

By the end of 2021, Xinjiang had 8,151 kilometers of railway line in operation, transforming itself into a regional hub, and bringing benefits to the local population.

Editor: 王晓夏

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