LANZHOU, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- A high-speed railway station near a horse ranch with a history of more than 2,000 years in northwest China's Gansu Province went into operation on Sunday.
Situated at an altitude of over 3,000 meters, the Shandan Horse Ranch station is located in Shandan County in the city of Zhangye along the Lanzhou-Xinjiang high-speed railway line.
The expansion project of the station, which did not have passenger transport services before, started construction in March this year. A passenger terminal building covering an area of 1,080 square meters, two platforms and other facilities, were built as part of the project.
Eight trains, heading for several cities including Lanzhou, Xi'an and Urumqi, will now stop over at the station.
Yang Yifeng took the train eastward to Tianshui, Gansu, a trip of five and a half hours now.
"We used to take normal trains and then travel by bus from Tianshui to the horse ranch, with the journey lasting more than 10 hours. Now the trip is very convenient," said Yang, one of the first batch of passengers.
Shandan Horse Ranch under the foot of the Qilian Mountains is one of the oldest horse ranches in the world. Horses have been raised here since the Han Dynasty (202 B.C.- A.D. 220), and the tradition of horse breeding has continued for thousands of years. During the Tang Dynasty (618-907) reign, the number of horses in Shandan exceeded 70,000.
In recent years, with great achievements in the ecological protection of the Qilian Mountains, Shandan Horse Ranch began to actively develop tourism.
Chen Jin, deputy head of Shandan County, said that with the opening of the station, tourists from all over the country can come to visit the ranch more easily via the high-speed railway.
It will provide important transportation support for environmental protection and the development of sustainable industries in the Qilian Mountains, Chen added. Enditem