The Hotan-Çakılık (Ruoqiang) Railway of China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region was put into service. The railway is located on the southern coast of the Taklamakan Desert, the second largest mobile desert in the world.
Typical desert railway Hotan-Çakılık Railway 65 percent is located in the sand area. The newly opened railway reaches the Hotan district of Xinjiang in the west and the Çakılık county of Bayangolin Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture in the east. Its total length is 825 kilometers, and its design speed is 120 kilometers per hour.
The Hotan-Çakılık Railway along with the existing Golmud–Korla Railway, Kashgar-Hotan Railway and Southern Xinjiang Railway surrounds the Taklamakan Desert. Thus, the world's first railway line with a length of 2 kilometers surrounding the desert was created.
As the longest uninterrupted line laid at one time in Xinjiang, the Hotan-Pink Railroad is referred to as a "thousand-mile line". Weldless steel rails are used throughout the entire line. Weldless rail provides more comfortable travel by using multiple rail joints without any impact force. In addition, 30 to 75 percent savings are made in the maintenance costs of the line.
Hotan-Çakılık Railway also adopts the prefabricated assembly technology of bridge pier engineering. This technology was used for the first time in railway construction in China. This technology also solves the problems of surface cracking and difficult maintenance that can occur in the construction of cast concrete in the desert area.
Over the past three years, builders have planted nearly 50 million square feet of grid grass along the Hotan-Çakılık Railroad and planted about 13 million shrubs and trees. The railway construction and the wind and sand control project were carried out simultaneously.