Welding work for the Hotan-Ruoqiang Railway, the final section of a loop line around the Taklimakan Desert in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, was completed recently in Hotan prefecture's Minfeng county, according to Zhang Gang, head of the China Railway 14th Bureau Group, the line's builder.
All the tracks have been joined end to end for the 825-kilometer railway, linking Hotan prefecture with Ruoqiang county in Bayingolin Mongol autonomous prefecture.
The construction of the national key railway project started in late 2018. The line is expected to start operating in June 2022.
As railway construction work took place through the Taklimakan Desert, it was challenged by raging sandstorms. The builders had to take steps to solidify sand while laying the tracks.
The new railway will encircle the Taklimakan Desert and connect with existing lines in southern Xinjiang. It will play an important role in pushing forward economic development and rural vitalization in Lop, Yutian, Minfeng and other counties that it connects, Zhang said.