Railways in Yunnan

The cheapest way to Yunnan would be by train from other cities of China, though it is not as convenient as travelling by air. Yunnan are mainly connected with Chengdu, Nanning and Guiyang through Chengdu-Kunming railway, Nanning-Kunming railway, and Guizhou-Kunming railway. Kunming railway station, located at the intersection of these railways, is an important transportation gateway of Yunnan province. At the end of 2016, Yunnan high-speed railway was officially opened, which greatly facilitates the travel of tourists. At present, bullet train lines basically cover most cities in the southwest, central, east, north and pearl river delta regions as well as many regions in the province. 

At present, railways in operation in Yunnan include:

The Dali-Lijiang Railway opened in 2009, is one of the newest railways in Yunnan. Pictured, a viaduct on the Da-Li line near Lijiang.
  • Yunnan–Vietnam Railway 855 km (531 mi) including 466 km (290 mi) in Yunnan, completed in 1910
  • Guiyang–Kunming Railway 640 km (398 mi), completed in 1966
  • Chengdu–Kunming Railway 1,134 km (705 mi), completed in 1970
  • Nanning–Kunming Railway 898.7 km (558 mi), completed in 1997
  • Neijiang–Kunming Railway 872 km (542 mi), completed in parts in 1960, 1965 and 2001
  • Pan County West Railway 136.3 km (85 mi), completed in part in 1975
  • Kunming–Hekou line, consisting of the following sections:
    • Kunming–Yuxi Railway 55.5 km (34 mi), completed in 1993
    • Yuxi–Mengzi Railway 141 km (88 mi), completed in 2013
    • Mengzi–Hekou Railway 140 km (87 mi), completed in 2014
  • Guangtong–Dali Railway 213 km (132 mi), completed in 1998
  • Dali–Lijiang Railway 165 km (103 mi), completed in 2009

The current network is centered around Kunming and most extensive in eastern Yunnan with outlets to Guizhou and on to the Yangtze River valley and Guangxi and on to the South China coast.

Since the late 1990s, the railway network in Yunnan has undergone considerable track upgrade and electrification to boost carrying capacity. Expansion projects include:

  • Lijiang–Shangri-La Railway from Lijiang to Shangri-La (Zhongdian), construction began in 2010.
  • Yunnan to Guilin – construction to start next year and finish in 2015
  • A rail line around Dianchi Lake: scheduled for completion in 2010
  • Guangtong to Dali electrification