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Dual high-speed railways usher in new era for Yunnan

By in News on

The Spring City, once famous for its laid-back lifestyle, made another leap toward modernity at the turn of the new year. Kunming South Railway Station, officially opened December 28, is the last stop on the Shanghai-Kunming High-speed Railway. The new railway — opened in conjunction with a separate southern line — connects Kunming with other important national transportation hubs, including Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanchang, Changsha and Guiyang.

The Shanghai to Kunming route has been under construction for seven years, and the final section, connecting Yunnan's capital with Guiyang, was finally completed in June 2016. It forms one spur of China's 'Eight Vertical, Eight Horizontal' (八纵八横) transportation system, an integral part of Beijing's 'Long-term Railway Network Plan' (长期铁路网规划), originally publicized in 2004.

The new line is also part of Beijing's One Belt, One Road initiative, which aims among many other things, to integrate China's rail system with those of neighboring countries. The 2,252-kilometer stretch is the longest railway of it's kind in China, as no other line brings continuous bullet train speed — expected to average more than 200 kilometers per hour — t