International Railways to China

International Railways to China mainly link the counties of Europe and southeast Asian. China is a member of the international railway union (UIC), also a signatory to the Trans-Asian railway network agreement, an initiative of the United Nations economic and social commission for Asia and the Pacific to promote the integration of rail networks in Europe and Asia.

Existing International Railways to China

Russia – China Railways

Three rail routes from Russia to China are located east of the border. The crossings at Manzhouli and Suifenhe are at either ends of the Trans-Manchurian Railway, which was a shortcut for the Trans-Siberian Railway. Located in the Hulunbuir region of northern Inner Mongolia, Manzhouli is China’s busiest inland port.  Suifenhe, in southern Heilongjiang Province, borders the town of Pogranichny in Primorsky Krai of the Russian Far East.

The third railway connects with Kraskino in the south of Hunchun in eastern Jilin province. The station in the Russian is Makhalino Railway Station. 

Mongolia – China Railways

The rail connection with Mongolia’s railways is located at Erenhot, in Xilingol League of central Inner Mongolia. As with rail services to Russia, trains to China need to have their bogies replaced at Erenhot because Mongolia uses broad gauge.

North Korea – China Railways

There are railways crossings along the border with North Korea at Dandong, Ji’an and Tumen. Dandong is the the most heavily used rail connection between the two countries. Ji’an connects to Manpo in Chagang Province by rail from Siping. Tumen, also in Jilin and 527 km (327 mi) east of Changchun is located across the Tumen River from Namyang, North Hamgyong Province. 

Kazakhstan – China Railways

There are two railway crossings on the China–Kazakhstan border, at Alashankou and Khorgas in Xinjiang Region. They are the only international rail outlets in western China. At Alashankou, the northern Xinjiang Railway connects to Qazaqstan Temir Zholy (Kazakhstan’s railway system). The Jinghe–Yining–Khorgas Railway in Northern Xinjiang built in 2009, meets the Zhetigen-Korgas Railway from the Turkestan-Siberian Railway completed by Kazakhstan in 2011.

Vietnam – China Railways

There are two railways linking China and Vietnam, located at the Friendship Pass and Hekou. Hunan–Guangxi Railway connects to the dual gauge Hanoi-Đồng Đăng Line at Friendship Pass on the border between Guangxi region of China and Lạng Sơn Province of Vietnam. At Hekou, Kunming–Hai Phong Railway crosses into Vietnam’s Lao Cai Province. 

International Railways to China under Planning

In recent years, China has been actively exploring and promoting the expansion of its railway network to neighboring countries and remote regions, including the Russian far east, southeast Asia, South Asia, central Asia, the Middle East and even North America.

Russian Far East – China Railways

In November 2008, the transport ministries of Russia and China signed an agreement to establish more links between their railway systems. One connects Tongjiang in Heilongjiang with Nizhneleninskoye, a village in Russia’s Jewish Autonomous Oblast. In addition, a high-speed railway link between Vladivostok and Hunchun is proposed and discussed.

Mongolia – China Railways

In October 2014, two standard gauge cross-border railways to China was approved by the Mongolian parliament. One connects Tavan Tolgoi coalfields of Ömnögovi Province to the border at Gashuun Suukhait and cross into China at Ganqimaodu in Urad Middle Banner, part of Inner Mongolia’s Bayan Nur Municipality. The other one connects central Mongolia to Bichigt in Sükhbaatar Province and cross into China at Zhuengadabuqi of East Ujimqin Banner of Inner Mongolia.

Central Asia – China Railways

Presidents Xi Jinping of China and Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov of Turkmenistan signed a declaration on May 12, 2014, studying the possibility of inviting Chinese enterprises to build a cross-border railway connecting the two countries. It was reported that on May 22, 2014, the foreign minister of kyrgyzstan proposed to invite China to join another regional railway project linking Russia, central Asian countries and the Persian gulf.

South Asia – China Railways

In 2018, China and Nepal signed a series of agreements in 2018, including a rail link between Kathmandu and the Chinese railway network. The China-Nepal railway will link Kathmandu with Xigaze, Tibet. Since 2007, Chinese and Pakistani have explored the possibility of building the Khunjerab Railway. Indian and Chinese have expressed interest in initiating a high-speed rail link in several occasions that would link Kolkata with Kunming, China via Myanmar.

China will also be linked with south Asia by Trans-Asian Railway, China-Laos Railway, China-Myanmar Railway, China-Thailand, China-Singapore Railway, etc.