Three new high speed railway lines officially opened on Friday, the bullet trains' maiden journeys may have transported passengers but they also brought economic opportunities to China's underdeveloped western interior.
The Lanxin high speed railway, which links Xinjiang's Urumqi with Xining, capital of Qinghai Province; and Lanzhou, capital of Gansu Province; is the first of its kind to be built on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
The Guiguang high-speed railway, meanwhile, links the southwestern Guizhou Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in the south to the economic hub of Guangdong Province. The designed speed is 250 km per hour on this route.
The 574-km Nanguang high-speed railway links Nanning, capital of Guangxi, to Guangzhou, capital of Guandong.
The new railways are marvels of advanced modern engineering, as the west of China is infamous for its challenging environment.