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22 December, 2017 00:00 00 AM

High-speed rail fires up Yunnan economy

BY DING YIQUAN
High-speed rail fires up Yunnan economy
It is predicted that Kunming South Railway Station will handle 31.2 million passengers annually by 2020, and 46.93 million passengers per year a decade later. (Xinhua)

The Dounan Flower Market in Kunming’s southern Chenggong District is bustling every day. Located more than ten kilometres away from the new Kunming South Railway Station—a high-speed rail depot—this enormous fresh cut flower emporium is the largest of its kind in Asia

 “Our flower sales have increased by at least 30 percent over last year,” said Mr. Zhou, who has been selling carnations in Dounan for more than a decade. The opening of high-speed railways in the province has injected a new impetus into the development of the Dounan Flower Market. More and more tourists make Dounan the last stop during their trip to Yunnan, hoping to “bring home flowers from the Spring City.”

In late 2016, the Guiyang-Kunming section of the Shanghai-Kunming high-speed railway went into operation, as did the Baise-Kunming portion of the southern Yunnan-Guangxi bullet train line. The opening of both marked Yunnan province’s entry into the era of high-speed rail. As of November 2017, Kunming South Railway Station has handled 6.45 million outbound passengers and received another 6.55 million inbound travelers.

The Dounan Flower Market is not the only beneficiary of these developments. Thanks to both high-speed trains and a growing intercity network with Kunming South Railway Station as the core, wild mushroom collectors in the Yunnan cities of Chuxiong, Yuxi and others are now selling their produce across the country.

 “On an average day in July, August and September this year, when Matsutake were in season, we exported 1.5 tons of mushrooms out of Yunnan to other places in China by high-speed rail,” said Li Yi, manager of the Kunming South Railway Station Office of China Railway Express Kunming Branch. “We’ve set up offices at eight stations in the province, including Kunming South, Yuxi, and Mile.”

Bullet train services have shortened the duration of rides from Yunnan to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, all by more than two thirds. Such progress has greatly boosting Yunnan’s tourism economy. No railway lines passed the Puzhehei Scenic Area in southeast Yunnan in the past, but now it is also accessible by high-speed railway. In the first half of 2017, according to statistics compiled by the government, the Puzhehei Scenic Area received 1.177 million visitors, bringing in an income of nearly 1.2 billion yuan. These numbers are up by 23.3 percent and 46.3 percent respectively over the same period of last year.

After the Shanghai-Kunming and the Yunnan-Guangxi high-speed railways went into operation, China Railway Kunming Group Co., Ltd. successively launched a series of electrified trains (EMU) to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Currently, 65 pairs of EMU trains operate on a daily basis. Efficient and convenient high-speed rail has become the first choice of travel for people living in surrounding areas. Whether on ordinary days or holidays, bullet trains are playing an increasingly important role in southwest China’s transportation landscape.

Yunnan joining the national network of fast rail has significantly shortened the duration of inter-city travel and has sped up both the flow of passengers and goods. It is predicted that Kunming South Railway Station will handle 31.2 million passengers annually by 2020, and 46.93 million passengers per year a decade later.

Yunnan province is now building an integrated three-dimensional transport system to link itself with South Asia and Southeast Asia. In the future, the province will transform itself from a “distal end” of the national transport network to a “pivotal gateway” connecting China with South Asia and Southeast Asia. At that time, high-speed trains will play an even more prominent role in promoting integrated local economic and social development. (Xinhua)

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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