China's top economic planner has approved a railway project linking Hotan Prefecture and Ruoqiang County in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, with a total investment of 22.15 billion yuan (3.48 billion U.S. dollars).
Spanning 825 kilometers in southern Xinjiang, the railway will have 69 stops, with a top-speed of 120 kilometers per hour, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.
The project, which will take 3.5 years, is expected to help boost local economy, support poverty alleviation projects, and promote coordinated development in Xinjiang, the commission said.
China spent 801 billion yuan on railway projects and put 3,038 km of new tracks into operation in 2017, meeting its annual targets of 800 billion yuan of investment and 2,100 km of new lines, according to the China Railway Corporation.
By the end of 2017, China's railways in operation reached 127,000 km. Among the total, high-speed railways rose to 25,000 km, from 22,000 km at the end of 2016.