Lanzhou–Xinjiang railway

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The Lanzhou−Xinjiang railway or Lanxin railway (simplified Chinese: 兰新铁路; traditional Chinese: 蘭新鐵路; pinyin: Lánxīn Tiělù), is the longest railway in Northwestern China. It runs 1904 kilometres (1,183 miles) from Lanzhou, Gansu, through the Hexi Corridor, to Ürümqi, in Xinjiang. It was Xinjiang's only rail link with the rest of China until the opening of the Lanzhou–Xinjiang high-speed railway in December 2014. The railway follows the path of the ancient Silk Road.

Lanzhou−Xinjiang railway
Lanxin Railway Train 01.jpg
A train running through the deserts of Xinjiang
Locale People's Republic of China
TerminiLanzhou railway station
Ürümqi South railway station
TypeHeavy rail
SystemChina Railway China Railway
Operator(s)China Railway Lanzhou Group
China Railway Ürümqi Group
Line length1,904 km (1,183 mi)
Number of tracks2 (Double-track railway)
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
Operating speed160km/h


The Lanzhou–Xinjiang railway, often abbreviated as the Lanxin line, is the longest railway built by the People's Republic of China. It was built by the China Railway Engineering Corporation. Construction of the initial stage (to Ürümqi) started in 1952, completed in 1962 and opened in 1966. The extension to the Kazakhstan border was built in the late 1980s, linkup with the Kazakhstan Railroads achieved on September 12, 1990. After the completion of the 20 km Wushaoling Tunnel in 2006, the railway from Lanzhou to Ürümqi is all double-tracked.


Lanxin railway in Linze County, Gansu

The Lanxin railway's eastern terminus is Lanzhou railway station. Lanzhou is a railway junction city in eastern Gansu Province, where the Lanzhou–Qinghai, Baotou–Lanzhou and Longhai Railways converge. From Lanzhou, the line heads west, across the Yellow River, into the Hexi Corridor, where it passes through Gansu cities Wuwei, Jinchang, Zhangye, Jiuquan and Jiayuguan, en route to Xinjiang. Once in Xinjiang, the railway passes through Hami, Shanshan, Turpan and Dabancheng, before reaching Ürümqi in central Xinjiang.

The Lanxin railway is sometimes categorized to include the Northern Xinjiang railway, which continues west from Ürümqi to Alashankou, on the Kazakhstan border. The distance from Alashankou to Lanzhou is 2360 km. Beyond Alashankou, the railway links up with the Turkestan–Siberia railway of Central Asia and eventually reaches Rotterdam.

Station listEdit

Station Chinese Distance (km2) Location
Longhai railway
Baotou–Lanzhou railway
兰州 0 Lanzhou Gansu
Lanzhou West 兰州西 Lanzhou Gansu
Stations in between

陈官营 - 西固城 - 坡底下 - 河口南 Lanzhou–Qinghai railway
大路 - 新屯川 - 华家山 - 龙泉寺 - 马家坪
永登 - 中堡 - 屯沟湾 - 富强堡 - 天祝
石门河 - 安家河 - 打柴沟 - 深沟 - 岔西滩
金强河 - 乌鞘岭 - 青河 - 安远镇 - 沙沟台
龙沟 - 柳家台 - 十八里堡 - 古浪 - 小桥堡
双塔 - 黄羊镇 - 头坝河

Wuwei South
Ganwu railway
武威南 290 Wuwei Gansu
Wuwei 武威 303 Wuwei Gansu
Stations in between

北河 - 槐安 - 截河坝 - 青山堡 - 宗家庄

Jinchang 金昌 377 Jinchang Gansu
Stations in between

东大山 - 玉石 - 芨岭 - 尖山 - 大青田口
马莲井 - 东明 - 山丹 - 东乐 - 西屯 - 太平堡

Zhangye 张掖 547 Zhangye Gansu
Stations in between

乌江堡 - 平原堡 - 临泽 - 新华庄 - 高台
梧桐泉 - 许三湾 - 屯升

Qingshui 清水 684 Jiuquan Gansu
Stations in between

丰乐滩 - 上河清 - 金佛寺 - 红山堡

Jiuquan 酒泉 748 Jiuquan Gansu
Jiayuguan–Jingtieshan Railway
Jiayuguan–Ceke Railway
嘉峪关 770 Jiayuguan Gansu
Stations in between

大草滩 - 黑山湖 - 玉门 - 新民堡 - 鄯马河
腰泉子 - 五华山

Diwopu 低窝铺 880 Jiuquan Gansu
Stations in between

玉门镇 - 军垦

Shulehe 疏勒河 925 Jiuquan Gansu
Stations in between

疏勒河 - 河东 - 桥湾 - 柳沟 Dunhuang Railway - 安北
金泉 - 石板墩 - 峡东 - 峡口

Liuyuan 柳园 1067 Jiuquan Gansu
Xiaoquan East 小泉东 1083 Jiuquan Gansu
Daquan 大泉 1104 Jiuquan Gansu
Zhaodong 照东 1126 Jiuquan Gansu
Hongliuhe 红柳河 1153 Jiuquan Gansu
Tianhu 天湖 1176 Hami Xinjiang
Weiya 尾亚 1197 Hami Xinjiang
Sitian 思甜 1219 Hami Xinjiang
Shankou 山口 1242 Hami Xinjiang
Yandun 烟墩 1262 Hami Xinjiang
Yanquan 盐泉 1287 Hami Xinjiang
Hongqicun 红旗村 1301 Hami Xinjiang
Hongguang 红光 1328 Hami Xinjiang
Hami 哈密 1339 Hami Xinjiang
Hongshiquan 火石泉 1352 Hami Xinjiang
Toubao 头堡 1368 Hami Xinjiang
Erbao 二堡 1384 Hami Xinjiang
Liushuquan 柳树泉 1398 Hami Xinjiang
Yaziquan 雅子泉 1426 Hami Xinjiang
Liaodun 了墩 1455 Hami Xinjiang
Shisanjianfang 十三间房 1496 Hami Xinjiang
Station in between 大步
Shanshan 鄯善 1609 Turpan Xinjiang
Qiquanhu 七泉湖 1696 Turpan Xinjiang
Meiyaogou 煤窑沟 1708 Turpan Xinjiang
Station in between 夏普吐勒
Southern Xinjiang Railway
吐鲁番 1749 Turpan Xinjiang
Station in between 天山
Dabanqiao 达板桥 1802 Ürümqi Xinjiang
Yanhu 盐湖 1827 Ürümqi Xinjiang
Chaiwobao 柴窝堡 1841 Ürümqi Xinjiang
Sangezhuang 三葛庄 1859 Ürümqi Xinjiang
Station in between 芨芨槽子
Wulabo 乌拉泊 1883 Ürümqi Xinjiang
Ürümqi South
Northern Xinjiang Railway
Second Ürümqi–Jinghe Railway
乌鲁木齐南 1892 Ürümqi Xinjiang

The northern branchEdit

The railway's northern branch extends 477 kilometres from Ürümqi to Alataw Pass (its westernmost point), where China's Alashankou railway station is connected to Kazakhstan's Dostyk station.

The southern branchEdit

The railway also has a southern branch, which splits off the main line near Turpan (east of Ürümqi), and runs west to Kashgar at the westernmost tip of the country. It was completed in 1999.


Xinjiang coal is one of the main types of freight shipped along the railway. In 2010, the railway is expected to ship 30 million tons of it, and by 2012, the amount is anticipated to rise to 50 million tons.[1]

Parallel high-speed passenger rail lineEdit

A new high-speed passenger rail line from Lanzhou to Xinjiang opened in December 2014.[2] The line is mostly parallel to the existing Lanxin railway, with the exception of also serving Xining, Qinghai rather than staying entirely within Gansu province on the way to Xinjiang. The estimated cost was 143.5 billion yuan. Since the completion of this route, the older Lanxin railway is used mostly for freight.[3]

There is also a planned railway connecting Golmud and Korla, to be an alternative railway corridor to Xinjiang.



  • "Xinjiang Travel Guide". China Travel Guide. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved December 24, 2005.
  • "The Economic Development of Xinjiang After the Founding of New China". Government White Papers. Retrieved December 24, 2005.
  • "Lanzhou–Xinjiang Railway". China Railway Engineering Corporation. Archived from the original on March 2, 2006. Retrieved December 24, 2005.
  1. ^ China Starts Building Second Trunk Railway to Xinjiang, 2010-04-15
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ 兰新铁路第二双线今日在乌鲁木齐开工 ("Work on Lanxin's second line starts today at Urumqi") 2009-11-04 (in Chinese)