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China to build Xi'an-Chengdu high-speed railway

A high-speed railway linking Xi'an with Chengdu has won approval from the National Development and Reform Commission, the nation's top economic planning agency, the China Railway First Survey and Design Institute said yesterday.

The railway has a designed speed of over 250km/h. It will help to cut the travel time between the two major cities in western China to less than three hours from current 13 hours, the designer said.

It includes a 519-km section between Xi'an, home to the terracotta warriors in Shaanxi Province, and Jiangyou in Sichuan Province, and another 130-km section linking Jiangyou with Chengdu,the Sichuan provincial capital.

Construction on the Xi'an-Jiangyou line will start this year, the institute said, without giving a timetable. The Jiangyou-Chengdu line has been under construction for over a year.

The Xi'an-Chengdu railway, which costs about 68.8 billion yuan (US$10 billion), is the first rail route to run through the Qinling Mountains, and is scheduled to be completed in 2014, the designer said. It will have 135 km traversing the Qinling Mountains area, including 127 km tunnels.


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