The first railway on the northwestern Sichuan Plateau opens to traffic, ending the history of no railway access in Aba Prefecture, Sichuan
Release time: 20:04 on November 28, 2023 Source: China News Network
At 11:06 on November 28, the first train departed from Maoxian Station in Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, marking the official opening of the Sichuan Chengdu to Qinghai Xining Railway (referred to as the Sichuan-Qinghai Railway) from Qingbaijiang East to Zhenjiang Pass. operations. This is the first railway in the northwestern Sichuan Plateau. Aba Prefecture in Sichuan Province has ended the history of no railways and entered the “motor train era”.
The Sichuan-Qinghai Railway has a total length of approximately 836 kilometers and a design speed of 200 kilometers per hour. It is a national Class I double-track railway. The Sichuan-Qinghai Railway is being constructed in sections. The section from Chengdu east to Qingbaijiang East and the section from Haixi to Xining are co-aligned with the Xi’an to Chengdu High-speed Railway and the Lanzhou-Xinjiang High-speed Railway respectively and have been put into operation; the section from Zhenjiangguan to Haixi East is under construction.
The section from Qingbaijiang east to Zhenjiangguan of the Sichuan-Qinghai Railway is located in the alpine valley area where the Chengdu Plain transitions to the eastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. It climbs nearly 2,000 meters, passes through many mountain ranges such as Longmen Mountain and Minshan, and crosses the Fujiang, Minjiang and Jialing rivers. The geological conditions are complex, known as the “super difficult railway under construction”.
Xiao Xialin, Commander of Chenglan Headquarters of Chenglan Railway Co., Ltd. explained, “In a railway built in mountainous areas, plateaus, and earthquake-prone areas, the main reason is that the altitude climbs rapidly from plains to plateaus. Special and complex geological conditions bring difficulties to the construction. It should be said that the environment this line crosses is very fragile and sensitive. During the construction process, we tried to use some green construction techniques. A series of engineering experiment projects have been carried out, and a series of technical accumulation has been achieved in the construction of railways in the entire southwestern mountainous area, especially in the plateau.”
On that day, thousands of local people gathered at Maoxian Station, many of whom were dressed in national costumes, singing and dancing to witness history. Aba Prefecture is rich in tourism resources. The world-famous Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area is located along the Sichuan-Qinghai Railway. Huanglong Jiuzhai Station is expected to open to traffic next year.
Chen Shunqing, Secretary of the Party Leadership Group of Aba Prefecture Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau of Sichuan Province commented, “Tourism in Aba is hampered by transportation. The opening of this railway has greatly facilitated tourists and improved the convenience, comfort and security of tourism in Aba. After tourists come, it will realize ‘fast travel and slow travel’. With the opening of the Sichuan-Qinghai Railway, tourism accessibility will improve. We are expected to exceed the 50 million reception mark throughout the year and become a record high.”
The entry of high-speed trains into Aba Prefecture not only brings more tourists but also makes it easier for people in Aba Prefecture to get out of the mountains. Wang Chengjin, an 87-year-old Qiang man, has been reluctant to go out for more than 20 years because of severe motion sickness. Coupled with his old age and diseased legs and feet, it is even more difficult for him to travel far. The opening of the high-speed train has brought good news to the elderly.
Shun Mingzhu, a villager in Fushun Town, Mao County, Aba Prefecture expressed, “My mother has not been to Chengdu for more than 20 years. Due to motion sickness, it takes at least 4 hours (drive) for us to go to Chengdu. The road is not winding and winding, and the elderly cannot bear it, so they cannot go out. Now that the train is open, I will take her out to look outside.”
There are many Tibetan train staff in the first crew team of the Sichuan-Qinghai Railway. In order to make it more convenient for local fellows to travel and reduce communication barriers, they provide Tibetan and Chinese bilingual services to passengers.
Yong Qingchu, conductor of the West Line EMU of the Chengdu Passenger Section of China Railway Chengdu Bureau Group Co., Ltd. shared, “As a native of Aba, I am very happy to serve the people in my hometown because the passengers on the train are basically ethnic minorities. We will provide bilingual service on the train so that the people in my hometown can truly feel a sense of happiness and a sense of gain.”
Reporter Lu Yang reported from Aba, Sichuan
Editor in charge: [Lu Yan]
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