Rails to Khorgos

On July 1, 2010, China Railways started passenger service from to Yining (a.k.a. Ghulja, Gulja, Kuldja, Yili, etc.), on the railway that was completed a few month previously and that runs all the way to Khorgos on the Kazakh border. Now it takes less than 12 hours from Urumqi to Yining on an overnight train.

To get to Yining, they had to build a 13.6 km tunnel across the Borokhoro Mountains (a range of Tianshan).
Kazakhstan wants to extend the railway on their side, from Khorgos to Almaty. Much easier terrain on their side of the border... but let's see when they actually finish.

Yining, of course, is the same Kulja, or Ili, that was the capital of the Manchu governors of Xinjiang, and and which was occupied by the Russians during the Dungan Rebellion in the 1860s-1870s.

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