Construction starts on southwest China high-speed railway

Construction began Monday on a high-speed railway linking southwest China's Chongqing Municipality and Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, said Wu Yong, director of Chengdu Railway Bureau.

The project was scheduled to take four years, and the 308 km high-speed link would halve the two-hour travel time between the two cities.

The line would incorporate 12 stations and 66 percent of the track would go over bridges and through tunnels due to the mountainous terrain, Wu said.

Chengdu and Chongqing are two major cities in China's west, and the high-speed railway was expect to promote development, Wu said.

By the end of 2012, China is expected to have more than 110,000 km of operational railways, including 13,000 km of high-speed rail.

China already has about 3,300 km of operational high-speed rail, according to the Ministry of Railways.

(Xinhua, March 22, 2010)