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Xinjiang's first inter-city train begins service after terror attack

XINJIANG'S first ever intercity train pulled out of the Urumqi south station this morning as scheduled despite an overnight terrorist attack that left three dead and 79 injured.

With a maximum speed of 140km per hour, the train named Bei Jiang Zhi Xing (Star of North Xinjiang) began its first service at 10:48am, with more than 800 passengers on board. It is the fastest train in Xinjiang, according to Si Shenmin, chief engineer of the Passenger Traffic Department of the Urumqi Railway Bureau. The speed of the ordinary passenger trains along the line is normally 110 km per hour to 120km per hour.

From today, five such trains will be in service: three round-trip services are available between Urumqi and Kuitun each day. Passenger can board once a day for Karamay and Shihezi.

Zhang Changling, a passenger who took the train with his 10-year-old granddaughter for an excursion to the wasteland reclamation museum and the Zhou Enlai Memorial in Shihezi, was pleased with the service. He said that traveling had become a lot easier these days in Xinjiang.

"I didn't give up our travel plans because I don't think terrorist attacks should intimidate anyone. Neither can they destroy our dream of a better life," said the 67-year-old. "It will only let us see the inhuman nature of terrorists."

In the railway station square, armed police and special police joined the railway police on Thursday. The ticket hall and the station lobby were in service as ever.

The owner of a hostel near the exit of the railway station told Xinhua that the railway had resumed operations only a few hours after the attack and that the hostel's business was as usual.

At around 7:10 pm yesterday, a gang with knives attacked people at the exit of the South Railway Station of Urumqi and set off explosives. Of the 79 people injured, four were seriously injured but are in a stable condition.


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