CHINA: The Minxian – Lanzhou railway was opened on September 29, completing a 862 km north–south artery between Lanzhou and Chongqing. Designed for 200 km/h passenger and 160 km/h freight services, the completion of the line has shortned the route between the two cities by about 650 km and reduced the journey time from 21 h to 12 h.
Construction began in August 2008, with the start of work on the 28·2 km twin-bore West Qinling Tunnel under the Qinling Mountains. The section between Chongqing and Guangyuan was opened on December 26 2015, followed a year later by the Guangyuan – Minxian section.
The completed route has 285 bridges totalling 104 km and 178 tunnels with a total length of 506 km, including 10 tunnels which are more than 10 km long. The project cost 77·4bn yuan, of which Gansu province provided 43bn yuan. The remainder came from the central government, Sichuan province and Chongqing regional authorities.