The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved a $180 million loan to help the government build a safer, more reliable, and more efficient rail transport system in the mountainous southwest region of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
The Mountain Railway Safety Enhancement Project will fund advanced railway safety equipment for the E’Mei-Miyi section — about 386 kilometers long — of the Chengdu-Kunming railway line, which is considered to be one of the most important railway networks supporting tourism and economic growth in the PRC.
“A safer and more advanced railway system will give residents better and faster transport options and support economic growth in the region,” said Sharad Saxena, Principal Transport Specialist for ADB. “It can also provide more jobs, improve people’s quality of life, and strengthen gender equality. We look forward to working closely with our counterparts to achieve these objectives.”
The project will help install new technologies, including advanced railway signaling, communication, and power supply mechanisms, as well as tunnel safety operation and monitoring systems. These will allow for more seamless train operations to avoid delays, technical difficulties such as power outages, accidents, and other emergency situations.
Railway safety management will also be improved by training officials at relevant agencies on safety, disaster prevention, and emergency tunnel rescue operations. About 100 staff from executing and implementing agencies are expected to take part in the training and other technical exchanges.
The total cost of the project is $860 million, including counterpart financing of $680 million. The project is expected to be completed by mid-2024.