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China to build first cross-desert railway
Updated: 2005-05-07 10:08

Construction of China's first railway across the Ulan Buh Desert and Badain Jaran Desert in north China' s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region will begin this year, local railway sources said.

The 1,390-kilometer railway starts at Linhe in Inner Mongolia, runs westward through the Ulan Buh Desert and the along the northern rim of the Badain Jaran Desert on the Sino-Mogolian border, then enters Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region from northern Gansu Province and ends at Hami in Xinjiang, according to the railway administration of Hohhot, capital of Inner Mongolia. The estimated cost and scheduled completion date were not disclosed.

The section of the railway in Inner Mongolia is 1,070 kilometers and the sections in Gansu and Xinjiang are 320 kilometers.

Upon completion, the railway will serve as a direct link between north and northwest China and will be a convenient passage linking Xinjiang with north and northeast China and the national capital, Beijing.

The Linhe-Hami railway runs along the north route of the ancient Silk Road, which was the land thoroughfare linking China with Central and Western Asia to the eastern shore of the Mediterranean between the second century B.C. and the eight and ninth centuries A.D.

The Ulan Buh Desert and the Badain Jaran Desert are the third and fourth largest deserts in China.

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