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World’s highest tunnel for high-speed train opened in China

World’s highest tunnel for high-speed train in northwest China at an altitude of 3607.4 metres became operational.

May 2, 2014 12:15 IST
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The world’s highest tunnel for high-speed train in northwest China at an altitude of 3607.4 metres became operational on 1 May 2014. The 16.3 km long tunnel links Gansu province and Xinjiang provinces. The tunnel passes through the Qilian Mountains with two sections and bridge.

The construction of the highest tunnel started in 2009. This rail line through the tunnel has solved the most difficult part of the Lanxin high-speed railway.  The 1776 km high-speed railway links Lanzhou, capital of Gansu, with Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang and runs across Gansu and Qinghai provinces to Xinjiang, traversing the Gobi Desert.

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The line is designed for trains at over 200 km per hour and will cut the train travel time between Lanzhou and Urumqi is eight hours from 20 hours. The line will be used at end of 2014.

Taihang tunnel (27.8 km long) and Wushaoling tunnel (21.05km long) is the fifth and ninth longest rail tunnel in the world respectively located in China.

List of other tunnels
• The Seikan tunnel in Japan is the longest (53.85km) and deepest rail tunnel in the world. It passes through Tsugaru Strait connecting the Hokkaido and Honshu islands.
• The Channel tunnel (50.5km long), located on the English Channel in the UK and France borders is the longest undersea rail tunnel in the world. It connects Folkestone in Kent, UK, to Coquelles in Pas-de-Calais, France.
• The railway tunnel (11 km long) through Pir Panjal mountain range on the Banihal-Qazigund railway line in Jammu and Kashmir is longest in India.

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