Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region launched 16 pairs of passenger trains on Monday, according to the China Railway Urumqi Group Co., Ltd.
Ten pairs of trains were opened to link the regional capital of Urumqi with cities and prefectures including Shihezi, Kuytun, Turpan, Usu and Hami. The other six pairs of trains contain three in the north, two in the south and one in the east.
The newly-added routes that connect major cities with surrounding areas will boost development of the cities and make travels in Xinjiang more convenient, said Geng Xingshan, an engineer from the passenger transport department of the company.
Chen Wei, who has worked in Urumqi for years, visits her parents in Shihezi every month.
"It used to take three hours by train to get to Shihezi, which is 150 km away from Urumqi. Now it only takes one hour," she said. "With more than 20 trains a day now, it is simple and easy for me to book a ticket online and go home at any time."
Xinjiang has provided a variety of travel choices for its residents over the past few years, from high-speed bullet trains to the slow "green trains," to satisfy different types of demand of passengers.