42019-013: Mountain Railway Safety Enhancement Project | Asian Development Bank

China, People's Republic of: Mountain Railway Safety Enhancement Project

Sovereign (Public) Project | 42019-013 Status: Approved

The Asian Development Bank is working with the People's Republic of China to improve railway transport. The project is making rail travel safeter and improving access to markets, employment, education and medical facilities.

Project Details

Project Officer
Saxena, Sharad East Asia Department Request for information
  • China, People's Republic of
  • Loan
  • Transport
Project Name Mountain Railway Safety Enhancement Project
Project Number 42019-013
Country China, People's Republic of
Project Status Approved
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Loan
Source of Funding / Amount
Loan 3556-PRC: Mountain Railway Safety Enhancement Project
Ordinary capital resources US$ 180.00 million
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Sector / Subsector

Transport / Rail transport (non-urban)

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming No gender elements
Description The proposed project will improve railway safety by installing advanced railway signaling equipment, communication, power supply, and tunnel monitoring systems on the E'Mei Miyi section of the Chengdu Kunming railway line in southwestern People's Republic of China (PRC). It will also enhance institutional capacity to manage railway safety.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

The railway sector is vital to the PRC's economic and social development, international trade, continued economic growth, and ability to extend the benefits of development to people living in the more remote regions of the country. Railways have the competitive advantage in moving passengers, bulk goods, and containers over medium to long distances. The government has therefore prioritized the expansion and modernization of the railway network. However, rail improvements have mainly occurred in eastern PRC and the network remains rather sparse and basic in western and southwestern PRC.

Despite the PRC's vast expertise in developing the high-speed rail network, constructing medium-speed rail lines in a highly mountainous region such as southwestern PRC poses considerable problems. The difficult and dangerous terrain in southwestern PRC is one of the main reasons why the rail network in the region remains inadequate. The PRC needs assistance and expertise in ensuring that the railway lines are well designed, properly constructed, and conform to the highest standards of safety.

Safety is an integral part of providing competitive, high quality, and reliable transportation for people and goods. As the PRC railways have expanded, introduced new concepts and technologies, and increased speeds, safety needs have changed. The PRC recognizes this important aspect and seeks to promote modern rail safety technologies and emergency management systems consistent with the development needs of the country's railways. It seeks to attract foreign technology and expertise to meet these needs, an area where the Asian Development Bank (ADB) can play a significant role.

The safety issue is a challenge because the trains encounter difficult operating conditions amid varying geological features as they crisscross the length and breadth of the country. This is particularly so in southwestern PRC, where the terrain is mountainous and railway lines have to be built with many bridges and tunnels. Operating a railway through a number of tunnels poses significant challenges for railway safety. Special arrangements need to be made for signaling to ensure speed restrictions, real-time monitoring of tunnel conditions, and proper lighting, and emergency systems for firefighting, ventilation, and rescue need to be installed. Various new technologies now exist for improving the safety of rail tunnels, and can play a vital role in preventing accidents as well as enabling a swift emergency response.

Southwestern PRC has two major fault lines (Anning River Fault Line and Daliang Mountain Fault Line) owing to which railway construction in the region requires high intensity earthquake fortification. Mountainous areas are also prone to landslides which cause rocks and debris to block the track resulting in unsafe train operating conditions. A strengthened safety management system which includes advanced signaling and communication systems as well as an improved management information system is needed to prevent train accidents and to respond promptly if they do occur.

ADB financing will support the provision of safety equipment for the E'Mei Miyi section (386 km) of the Chengdu Kunming railway line, which is the most difficult section of the railway. It runs mostly through treacherous terrain traversing mountains and steep river valleys and requiring 141 bridges (80.8 km) and 52 tunnels (211.4 km), 7 of which will be longer than 10 km each, and climbing 1,200 meters over 95 km in a grade of 1.2%. The total length of bridges and tunnels is 292.2 km, accounting for 75.7% of the alignment. The complex terrain, coupled with the increased weight, speed, and number of trains, adds to the importance of the safety of railway operations on the Chengdu Kunming railway line.

Impact Safe, reliable, and efficient rail transport system in southwestern People's Republic of China developed
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome A safe and efficient railway corridor between E''Mei and Miyi developed
Progress Toward Outcome
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Railway signaling, communication, and power supply system developed

Tunnel safety operation and monitoring system installed

Institutional capacity for railway safety management enhanced

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)
Geographical Location Emei
Safeguard Categories
Environment C
Involuntary Resettlement C
Indigenous Peoples C
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design
During Project Implementation
Responsible ADB Officer Saxena, Sharad
Responsible ADB Department East Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Transport and Communications Division, EARD
Executing Agencies
China Railway Corporation (Formerly Ministry of Railways)
[email protected]
10 Fuxing Road
Beijing 100844
People's Republic of China
Concept Clearance 16 Jun 2016
Fact Finding 15 Nov 2016 to 18 Nov 2016
MRM 15 Feb 2017
Approval 25 Aug 2017
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 05 Sep 2017

Loan 3556-PRC

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
25 Aug 2017 - - 31 Dec 2024 - -
Financing Plan Loan Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 860.00 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 180.00 25 Aug 2017 0.00 0.00 0%
Counterpart 680.00 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 0.00 25 Aug 2017 0.00 0.00 0%

Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

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Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards

Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.

Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

None currently available.

Related Publications

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Procurement Plan