The 530 kilometre rail, with a designed speed of over 200 kilometres per hour, is part of the 1,776 kilometre Lanxin high-speed railway linking Urumqi with Lanzhou, capital of north western province of Gansu, which will be put into service by the end of this year.
    
The railway crossing the vast expanse of the Gobi desert and windy areas will be further connected with China's booming high-speed rail network to play a key role in the Silk Road Economic Belt, initiative raised by China to boost cooperation with central and western Asian nations.

China has high expectations of the new rails line in its most troubled province, which has witnessed violent attacks, and hopes it will fuel more development it the resource-rich province and improve its connectivity with the rest of the country.

China blames the violence on the radical regional outfit the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), an Al-Qaeda backed outfit.

The province which has about 11 million native Uygur Muslims remained restive over the settlements of Hans from other provinces. When the project will be fully ready it would cut down the travel time from eight hours to about 12 hours.

The Lanzhou-Xinjiang High-Speed Railway, which began construction in 2009, will serve as a key link between the region and the provinces of Gansu and Qinghai.

It will also help shorten travel time between Beijing and Urumqi, Xinjiang's capital, from 20 to 40 hours. The 1,776 kilometre track, which will be the longest high-speed railway line in the world, costs USD 24 billion and includes 31 stations. It will touch three major plateaus Qinghai-Tibet, Loess and Pamirs.

China is also building another high-speed line connecting Lanzhou and Xian. Upon its completion, the high-speed rail system will run from Urumqi to the Pacific coast. China's railway network includes more than one lakh kilometres of track, including 10,000 kilometres in high-speed lines.

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