New China-Mongolia railway link enters construction stage
A new rail link connecting Mongolia and China is in the making. The line will connect the Mongolian border point Shivee Khuren and the Chinese border point Ceke. Construction started on 27 May and the works are expected to finish by October 2023. The new line will cover a distance of 7,1 kilometres, and once completed, it will become the second cross-border railway between China and Mongolia.
According to Chinese governmental sources, upon completion, the Shivee Khuren-Ceke cross-border line will stimulate the transportation of bulk goods like coal and copper mine in particular. Currently, this border crossing is already under operation but with a missing rail link since transport takes place by road. Chinese officials had confirmed since 2016 the opening of a railway border crossing in this location. However, the actual construction took seven years to begin.
Another two new China-Mongolia railways
Besides the ongoing construction of the Shivee Khuren-Ceke railway, another two new border crossing railways are already on the table.
The Gashuunsukhait (Mongolia)-Ganqimaodu (China) border crossing that opened in 2004 and relied on road transport is undergoing a rail transformation too. Telenged Baast, the Mongolian rail freight operator from Monlogistic, told RailFreight.com that “the construction of the Mongolian side of the railway was completed last year, but connection issues with the Chinese side have yet to be finalised.” Once completed, this rail border crossing could become a strategic point for the coal and mining trade between Mongolia and Russia.
Additionally, Mongolia opened a new railway line on the way to China last November, connecting Zongbayan to the border city of Khangi, both in Mongolia. This line is planned to connect with the Chinese border city of Mandula; however, the link has not yet been finalised and expects official approval to be recognised as a cross-border line. As a result, the last mile of this railway line is still in limbo. Once the two parties reach an agreement and complete their paperwork, a new route could be established, sharing the loads between Erenhot and Zamiin-Uud, the only rail border crossing between the two countries.