China’s rail domination around the world goes up one notch as it plans a high speed rail connecting northwest China all the way to Iran.
China’s railway authority has recently proposed an ambitious plan to build a Silk Road high-speed railway which would connect northwest China to West Asia via Central Asia. According to reports, China Railway Corp has proposed a route leading from China’s Urumqi and Yining to Almaty in Kazakhstan, followed by Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, Tashkent and Samarkand in Uzbekistan and Ashgabat in Turkmenistan before finally joining the train network in West Asia through Tehran, Iran.
The Khorgos station bordering Kazakhstan last year handled less than 17 million metric tons of cargo running at full capacity, but beyond the station, the east-west annual cargo transportation capacity is 100 million tons. Container trains and passenger trains could run on the same route with the only difference being the speed. A passenger train could run at 250 to 300 kms/hour, while a container train would go up to 120 kms/hour.
Just over a year ago, China opened the most western branch of its high-speed rail network in Xinjiang, connecting Urumqi with the region’s eastern city of Hami. – Reports