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SHANGHAI, June 04. /ITAR-TASS/. The construction of the first high-speed railway has been completed in the Xinjiang-Uygur Autonomous District (XUAD) of the People's Republic of China, the newspaper Renmin Ribao reports on Wednesday.
The railway line will link Urumqi, the administrative center of XUAD, with the city of Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu Province. The line is about 1,800 km long. Trains can develop a speed of up to 250 km an hour, covering the distance within eight hours.
The construction of the railway was conducted under conditions of a rugged terrain. At one of the railway sections, builders had to cut a 16-km-long high-mountain tunnel running at an altitude of about 3.6 km above the sea level.
The high-speed mainline railway will help considerably to improve the situation with the accessibility of Xinjiang by transport and will promote an economic development of the district, one of the poorest in the country.
A local government official told the newspaper in an interview, "According to estimates made by the XUAD Party Committee, by 2016, due to the construction of the high-speed railway, tourism will become one of the main sectors in the district economy, accounting for more than 10% of the GRP (Gross Regional Product)."