The world's first railway around the desert achieves "closed loop"


On the morning of June 16, with the roar of the whistle, the 5818 passenger train from Hotan to Ruoqiang left the platform, marking the official opening of the Xinjiang Heruo Railway.

The Heruo Railway is located on the southern edge of the Taklimakan Desert, the second largest mobile desert in the world. It starts from Hotan City, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in the west, and reaches Ruoqiang County, Bazhou in the east, passing through Luopu, Celle, Yutian, Minfeng, Qiemo, etc. Cities and counties, with a total length of 825 kilometers and a design speed of 120 kilometers per hour, are reserved for electrification conditions for national class I single-track railways. After the opening of the operation, Hotan City can reach Ruoqiang County in 11 hours and 26 minutes.

Engineering Sand Control + Plant Sand Control: Protecting the Safety of Railway Operation

After the Heruo Railway is opened to traffic, it will "hand in hand" with the existing Geku Railway and the Southern Xinjiang Railway to form a "closed loop" of railways around the Taklimakan Desert. So far, the world's first railway line around the desert has completed the "last piece of the puzzle". Qiemo, Luopu and other 5 counties and 3 mission fields of Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps will end the history of no train access, and greatly improve the travel environment for residents along the line.

The Heruo Railway passes through deserts, Gobi and oases, and 534 kilometers are distributed in the sandstorm area, accounting for 65% of the total length of the line. In order to reduce the impact of sandstorms on railway operation, the builders built a series of "green corridors" along the railway line according to the characteristics of different sections, realizing the combination of engineering sand control and plant sand control, and summed up the valuable desert construction of railways. experience.

According to Wang Jinzhong, Secretary of the Party Committee of Xinjiang Heruo Railway Co., Ltd., sand has two main hazards to the railway: first, sand entering the track bed will form hardening, and driving safety is not guaranteed; second, sand will bury the rails and trains cannot pass. Therefore, the primary task of the Heruo Railway is to prevent sand.

How to prevent? The Taklimakan Desert is highly mobile. According to estimates, the low sand dunes move an average of 20 meters per year, which is easy to bury the line. In areas with particularly severe sandstorms, the builders adopted a plan of replacing roads with bridges, that is, building a sand-crossing bridge to allow sandstorms to pass under the bridge. There are 5 such sand-crossing bridges on the whole line, and the longest one is 18.6 kilometers long.

In addition to reserving sand passages, building an ecological barrier is also an important part. A total of nearly 50 million square meters of grass squares have been built along the Heruo Railway, stretching for nearly 260 kilometers. At the same time, nearly 13 million trees and shrubs such as Haloxylon ammonium, red willow, and sea buckthorn were planted.

Zhao Jiahai, head of roadbed design of China Railway First Survey and Design Institute Group Co., Ltd. and Ruo Railway, said: "A small sand pile will form wherever trees are planted in the surrounding area. After the sand comes over, the plants can block the wind and sand. It turned out to be loose sand. After the surface layer forms a hard shell, it will no longer play sand, and achieve the effect of sand fixation.

It is understood that the sand control and plant sand control area of the entire Heruo Railway project is 285.7 kilometers. The automatic intelligent control drip irrigation pipe network system is adopted to improve the survival rate of plants and weave a green barrier in the desert Gobi.

Railway is of great significance to help rural revitalization

In addition to sand control, builders are also faced with the problems of water and maintenance difficulties for railway concrete projects in deserts.

"We have carried out a lot of scientific research and applied the prefabricated pier technology to the 434 piers of the 3 extra-large bridges, and achieved good results. It is the first application in China," introduced Yang Baorong, chief designer of China Railway First Survey and Design Institute Group Co., Ltd. and Ruo Railway.

The opening of the railway has brought great convenience to the people and enterprises along the line.

"We have been looking forward to the day when this railway is opened to traffic," said Kurbanhan Maitirozi, a returning student from Yutian County: "In the past, we could only take the bus to Hotan City and then transfer to the train. Go to school, and now there is a train station in my hometown, which provides us with more choices for travel."

"This time we shipped 2,752 tons of coal. Compared with the previous detour from Kashgar, the Heruo Railway helped us save nearly 13.5% of the cost and shortened the time by 2-3 days." Chairman of Xinjiang Flame Mountain Coal Industry Co., Ltd. Huang Wei said.

It is understood that by the end of 2021, the operating mileage of Xinjiang railway has reached 8,151 kilometers, and a "one main and two auxiliary" channel has been initially formed with Lanxin Railway and Lanxin High-speed Railway as the main channel, Linhe-Hami Railway as the north channel, and Geku Railway as the south channel. "Traffic pattern.

The completion and opening of the Heruo Railway will further improve the structure of the railway network in Xinjiang, accelerate the construction of the railway network in the western frontier, greatly facilitate the travel of people of all ethnic groups and the transportation of goods along the line, drive the development of resources along the line, and help maintain national unity, consolidate frontier national defense, and help. Rural revitalization is of great significance.