News coming in from the official 7 o’clock news here in China: Rail tracks are being laid on the Taiyuan-Xi’an HSR, which is a part of the larger Datong-Xi’an HSR. The entire Taiyuan-Xi’an HSR opens by June 2014, whilst the northern extension to Datong opens in late 2014.
The entire Datong-Xi’an HSR is 859 km in length. Part of the line has been built as a 350 km/h line (hardware-wise) but in the earlier stages, will run at 250 km/h. However, lower speeds have been planned for the northern extension to Datong.
The Taiyuan-Xi’an HSR connects to the Zhengzhou-Xi’an HSR at Weinan North Railway Station. That station is slated for an expansion to accommodate new services. The new line will add a third link to the Xi’an North Railway Station (after the Zhengzhou-Xi’an and Xi’an-Baoji HSR links). The entirety of the Datong-Xi’an HSR runs through the whole of the province of Shanxi (from north to south) and runs not far from the main north-south expressway in the province.