A new section of high-speed railway in Northeast China’s Jilin province has started test runs.
The line will bring passenger rail for the first time to about 220,000 people in Hunchun, the only city at the juncture of China, Russia and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The 361-km passenger rail linking the cities of Jilin and Hunchun will start operation ahead of Oct 1, China’s National Day, according to the Shenyang Railway Bureau.
The line will offer travelers stunning views of lakes and mountains in the province.
Named the most beautiful rail section in the province, the Jilin-Hunchun section has nine stations that will allow travelers to reach Songhua Lake, Jingpo Lake, Changbai Mountain and Fangchuan township at speeds of up to 250 km per hour.
Hunchun lies on the borders of three countries, sits in the lower reaches of the Tumen River in Jilin province, and emerged as a promising spot for border trade in recent years. Its unique geographic location connects China with a number of countries in Northeast Asia, including Russia, Japan and the DPRK.
The city’s Fangchuan township provides an unparalleled view of the border areas of the three countries and its Fangchuan Park, a national forest park, is home to a number of rare plants, animals and birds. The park is also the core area of the protection zone for the Far Eastern leopard.
Hunchun is in the Yanbian Korean autonomous prefecture, mainly populated by people of the Korean ethnic group.
The line begins a new era of modern transportation for local residents.
“I have to go to Changchun, capital of Jilin province, every month for a business trip,” said Wang Xiaodong, a member of the staff at an international trade zone in Hunchun.
The beautiful Jilin-Hunchun rail is part of the Changchun-Hunchun high-speed railway, which ranges 472 km.
“I take a taxi to the city of Tumen from Hunchun and have to spend a whole night on a regular train to Changchun, but now it will only take me three hours from Hunchun to Changchun by express train.”
A resident of Changchun, surnamed Wang, said: “I can’t wait to see the picturesque scenery along the railway line with the multiple layers of colors of the landscape. I can hardly believe that it takes me less than three hours to go to Hunchun.”
Aiming to provide passengers with the most efficient tour, the designers and construction workers built 115 bridges with a total length of 91 km, accounting for a quarter of the railway section.
In addition, 85 tunnels have been built to shorten the distance, cutting the journey by more than 40 percent.
Since Jilin is taking part in the Belt and Road Initiative, the line, as an indispensable part of the major transportation network in Northeast China, will play an important role, increasing tourism and cultural exchanges, the region’s railway authority said.
(China Daily 08/11/2015 page3)