Broad meets normal gauge at new border point China-Mongolia

Image: Zulaa7Image: Zulaa7

Mongolia has opened a new railway line to the border with China. It connects Zongbayan to the border city of Khangi. Once the facilities are completed, this will provide a new, second border crossing for freight trains between the countries.

The new, 227-kilometre railway line was officially opened on Friday, 25 November, by the prime minister of Mongolia, L Oyun-Erdene. He emphasised that the construction started only eight months ago, in March this year. The expectations of the railway line are high, as the countries currently share only one border crossing for rail freight, at Zamyn Uud-Erenhot.

Broad meets normal gauge

Due to the dual gauge terminal at the border, the railway connects the Mongolian Hangji and the Chinese Mandula Port. This means a much shorter distance for the transport of goods from Yuruu in northern Mongolia to Bugat in China, which is now done via the other border crossing. According to the Financial Times, the distance is reduced by 306km.

This is important for Mongolia as the country relies heavily on its export from mining. With the new railway line, the transportation cost of raw materials to China will be significantly reduced. Moreover, another railway line connecting Zuunbayan with Tavantolgoi in the west is expected to open soon. This will connect to the railway line to the border, thus enabling more export volumes to move by rails.

20 million more

When the cross-border railway line will be fully operational, the annual import and export cargo capacity is expected to increase by 20 million tons and the total amount of railway transportation by 65 per cent, according to Dayoo News.

The line is part of Mongolia’s New Recovery Policy, which is focused on strengthening the country’s economy following the pandemic and making Mongolia into a leading Asian country by 2050.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is the editor-in-chief of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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