China is planning to build a high-speed 6,000-km railway between the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and Eastern Europe.
According to China Daily, the railway is to start in Xinjiang and pass through Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Turkey to Bulgaria. Passenger train speeds will reach 200 kph and freight trains 160 kph. The line is expected to require a total investment of about $150 billion. The railway connection – dubbed ‘the new Silk Road – is to be largely finished in 2020 and fully completed by 2030.
The pace of railway construction in Xinjiang has increased significantly since September, when President Xi Jinping raised the idea of a Silk Road economic belt. He proposed reviving the ancient trade route connecting China, Central Asia and Europe. China is also considering building a 3,000-km line from the south of the country through Laos, Thailand and Malaysia to Singapore.