A newly built high-speed railway (HSR) with a top speed of 350 kilometers per hour connecting Chengdu and Yibin, two cities in Southwest China’s Sichuan Province, finished joint debugging and testing, and entered trial operation on Sunday, according to China Media Group.
The HSR will greatly facilitate local personnel mobility and the construction of the economic area surrounding Chengdu and the neighboring Chongqing Municipality, Zhao Juan, a research fellow with the China Railway Economic and Planning Research Institute, told the Global Times on Sunday.
The railway has a total length of 264 kilometers with 12 stops serving major cities of Sichuan Province such as Ziyang, Neijiang and Zigong.
It will cut the travel time between Chengdu and Zigong (187 kilometers apart by road) to 40 minutes and cut the travel time between Chengdu and Yibin (260 kilometers apart by road) to about one hour, and it will be a major transport channel connecting downtown Chengdu and Chengdu Tianfu International Airport, the Sichuan Daily reported.
China’s high-speed rail network centers around eight main vertical lines linking the north and south and eight horizontal lines connecting the east and west, dubbed “eight vertical and eight horizontal” high-speed railway network.
As a vital phase of the grand railway network, the Chengdu-Yibin HSR will be connected with other railways to Southwest China’s Yunnan and Guizhou provinces, as well as South China’s Guangdong Province, forming an arterial railway traffic channel.
The Chengdu-Yibin HSR is also in line with the nation’s development plan for boosting regional transportation networks.
In 2016, the National Development and Reform Commission released a plan for the urban cluster surrounding Chengdu and Chongqing, which emphasized upgrading local transport systems based on using HSR systems, intercity railways and highways to shorten travel times between neighboring cities within one hour.
“The completion of the Chengdu-Yibin HSR is coordinated with the nation’s development plan of emphasizing the southwestern region, including intensifying the local railway network,” said Zhao, who added that building the line in such a mountainous region showed that China’s HSR technology has made a new achievement.