Construction begins on Alataw Pass railway project
the Alataw Pass Station (Photo: Beijing Daily)

A railway project linking Alataw Pass (Alashankou Port) in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, which serves as a major border crossing between China and Kazakhstan, began construction on Wednesday, further improving the autonomous region’s railway network and facilitating freight train service between China and Europe.

The railway is located at the Bortala Mongolian autonomous prefecture in northwest Xinjiang. It starts from Jinghe county and ends at the Alataw Pass, a geographical landform on the border with Kazakhstan and one of the most important ports for cross-border trains to Europe, according to China State Railway Group.

The 70-kilometer line, with a designed speed of 120 km per hour, is expected to be completed in 2024.

The project will renovate and expand four stations including Jinghe, Bole East and Alataw Pass. It will also build a new yard for cargo inspection and renovate the yard for reloading containers at the Alataw Pass Station.

The new railway will further enhance transport capacity to support freight train service between China and Europe and better serve the Belt and Road Initiative.