A new segment of the China-Myanmar railway corridor opens for operation
In China’s south-eastern province of Yunnan, the 133-km Dali – Baoshan segment has been commissioned of the Dali – Ruili railway line that is currently under construction and has a total length of 330 km. The commissioning is an important milestone in the creation of an international railway corridor between China and Myanmar because of the Ruili urban county’s proximity to the border with Myanmar. The new line connects the popular tourist destination Dali with Baoshan which is a land of large coffee plantations.
In addition to passenger stations, three freight ones are served by the single-track electrified line Dali – Baoshan. In the initial stage, seven pairs of passenger trains daily will run on the line at a maximum speed of 140 km/h.
The construction project broke ground in 2008 in extremely complicated geological conditions as the line went across the Hengduan mountain range abound with deep canyons, areas of seismic activity and geothermal springs, and rivers. Several earthquakes occurred in the course of the construction work. In the frame-work of the project, 34 bridges and 21 tunnels were built, accounting for approximately 87 % of the line’s total length. The opening of the line was preceded by comprehensive tests of train traffic control and safety systems.
The new line runs across areas populated by China’s several ethnic minorities, opening new employment and educational opportunities for them and giving a boost to tourism. Prospectively, the opening of the international railway corridor will simplify the delivery of Myanmar’s agricultural produce (such as mangos, water melons, and rice) and raw materials (natural rubber and some ores) to the Chinese market.
The project is part of the One Belt – One Road Initiative.
(the news coverage has been prepared with the assistance of the editorial staff of the “Railways of the World” journal)