People dressed in Miao ethnic costumes cheer as a high-speed train runs through Xingwen county in Yibin, Sichuan province, on Monday. HE HAIYANG/FOR CHINA DAILY
Ji Fang is a regular traveler from Guiyang, Guizhou province, to Chengdu, Sichuan province.
The middle-aged Sichuan native works in Guiyang from Monday to Friday. Calling it a day on Friday, she takes a train heading for Chengdu where her home is. On Sunday, she arrives in Guiyang by train.
“It usually takes four hours to reach Chengdu from Guiyang by train and vice versa,” said Ji, an office worker.
On Monday morning, the Yibin-Guiyang section of the Chengdu-Guiyang High-Speed Railway started operation, marking the opening of the entire railway. Passengers on the railway can spend two hours and 58 minutes reaching Guiyang from Chengdu and vice versa.
“It is nice－a new high-speed railway from Chengdu to Guiyang has cut the travel time by over one hour,” Ji said.
The railway starts in Chengdu, passes Meishan, Leshan and Yibin cities in Sichuan, and runs through Weixin and Zhenxiong counties in Zhaotong city in Yunnan province and Bijie city in Guizhou before reaching Guiyang.
With a length of 648 kilometers, the railway has a top speed of 250 kilometers per hour.
“The Chengdu-Leshan section of the railway started operation at the end of 2014, and the Leshan-Yibin section started in June this year,” said Zheng Weitai, an information officer with China Railway Chengdu Group Co. “The newly-opened Yibin-Guiyang section is 372 kilometers long, and the initial operating speed is 250 km/h.”
The Chengdu-Guiyang High-Speed Railway connects other high-speed railways, including the Chengdu-Xi’an and Chengdu-Chongqing railways.
“It creates a fast passenger transport channel from Sichuan, Chongqing and Guizhou to the Pearl River Delta and Yangtze River Delta and other developed coastal areas,” Zheng said. “It will speed up the development of tourism and mineral resources along the line, which is of great significance to poverty alleviation efforts.”
The railway has two stops in Dafang and Qianxi counties in Bijie city in Guizhou. Dafang and Qianxi are impoverished State-level counties.
Southwest China, which includes Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou provinces and Chongqing, abounds in world-class tourism resources.
Sichuan alone boasts sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List such as Jiuzhaigou, Mount Emei, Leshan Grand Buddha, Dujiangyan, Mount Qingcheng and the giant panda habitat.