Wish gokunming would do a travel piece on this new rail and the fun and interesting things to see and do outside those 13 stations.
That's essentially 13 potential round trip rail trips from Lijiang (not to mention KM to LJ). Might be able to get China Rail to cough up some funds along with the Yunnan Tourism and Travel promotion agencies (dunno their real names, but I'm sure there are MANY MANY MANY government agencies tasked with improving or increasing tourism who have no idea where and how to spend those funds).
The high altitude locations would be perfect for development of hot spring type tourist attractions as starters. Private bathing, private luxury boutique rooms (with your own private hot spring-ish bath), sensational views, local cuisine.
The absolute great thing about China is the planned economy - with government support - virtually any business can actually have a sustainable business case (gov promotions, ads, etc until the venue becomes self-sustaining).
To piggyback michael's post, currently there appears to be gov. agencies in Yunnan promoting domestic travel. 20% discounts on rail fares and Qunar app has been offering generous air promotions (via "manghe" chance boxes), perhaps with subsidies, such as FREE one-way flights (excluding airport tax) from Kunming to Tengchong. That's a savings of 300-400 rmb. Otherwise, high speed rail may take 4 hours to reach Baoshan with additional two hours in bus/car travel time to reach Tengchong in a ~430 km journey near the border.
Because you specifically mentioned hot springs, the geothermal hot spring and geyser scene in the volcanic fields of Tengchong (just 40 km from Myanmar) is touted as being one of the best in Mainland China, let alone in Yunnan. Definitely something to look into if you're fond of onsen.
Btw, I may have made a mistake in my previous post. The new rail from Lijiang to Shangrila may turn out to be a high speed rail after all given the short travel time of one hour or so.