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Transportation in Xinjiang
 
 
Railways
 
China's third drive to upgrade train speeds across the nation is currently in hand. Work on the Lanzhou-Xinjiang Railway represents one of the major projects in pursuit of this aim. Construction is progressing smoothly with completion anticipated by October 1, 2004.
The Lanzhou-Xinjiang Railway runs more than 2,000 kilometers from Lanzhou City in Gansu Province in the east to Alataw Pass, the westernmost point of the Chinese section of the second Eurasian Link. It is a principal artery linking China's east and west and is the only railroad running between Xinjiang and the rest of China.

A dual-track section of the Lanzhou-Urumqi railroad is already operational and construction of the Korla-Kashi section of the Southern Xinjiang Railroad, also a major project, is in full swing. Works to the value of 2.4 billion yuan have been completed in the westward extension of the Southern Xinjiang railroad and the northern section of Wusu-Ala Pass railway.

This is the best way to travel east into the rest of China. To and from Urumqi, you'll find direct trains to Beijing, Shanghai, Lanzhou, Xi'an and Chengdu. Express trains to take a few days. Trains to and from Beijing take around 44 hours, and to and from Shanghai takes around 48 hours. We strongly recommend taking hard or soft sleeper trains. Anyone on a budget who tries taking a train to Urumqi with a hard seat will quickly discover that the extra few RMB spent on a sleeper ticket are good value for money.

Highways
 
Highways have now been extended to all counties and prefectures together with 99 percent of towns and villages.
A road-transportation network comprising seven national highways and 62 regional trunk highways links Urumqi at its hub with Gansu and Qinghai provinces in the east, the Tibet Autonomous Region in the south and the Central Asian countries in the west.
At the end of 2003, there were 59,900 kilometers of highway (up just 0.7 percent). However freight volumes were up 9.1 percent at 32.5 billion ton-kilometers with passenger transport up 5.0 percent at 19.5 billion person-kilometers.
 
Waterways
 
Steamers and barges operate seasonal services on the Ili and Ertix rivers.
 

The best way to get around in Xinjiang is by bus as the highway system is relatively good. In most of Xinjiang, foreigners are charged artificially jacked up foreigner prices which can be as much as 200% of the original. If you purchase tickets at the bus stations, then you may be charged a more reasonable 'official' price.

If you don't plan to join a tour group in Urumqi, transport around the region can be awkward. Public buses are infrequent and it is sometimes worth considering hiring a car or a jeep to tour about the area if your budget will stretch to it.

 
 
Air-links
 
Xinjiang boasts the greatest number of airports and the longest air routes of all the provinces and autonomous regions of China.
Urumqi International Airport is one of China's six major airports with flights to West Asian and European countries.
Centered on Urumqi, domestic air routes radiate out to Lanzhou, Xi'an, Beijing and Shanghai. Closer to home, routes within Xinjiang itself serve Hami, Korla, Kuqa, Hetian, Kashi, Aksu, Yining, Karamay, Fuyun, and Altay.
Reconstruction and expansion is currently underway at Urumqi International Airport. At the end of 2003, its civil aviation routes totaled 116,000 kilometers (down 12.1 percent). Freight volumes were down 22 percent at 64 million ton-kilometers with passenger transport up 4.3 percent at 4.09 billion person-kilometers.
 
Urumqi Airport Transportation
 
By Air

Situated about 17 km (about 10.6 miles) northwest of the city center, Urumqi International Airport (URC) is one of the busiest air hubs in China. The airport meets the 4E Standards Airport of the International Civil Aviation. Every week, over 700 flights leave here for 53 destination cities in China, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Chengdu, Lanzhou, Dunhuang, Harbin, Guangzhou and Qingdao, etc. as well as 14 foreign destinations including Tashkent, Novosibirsk, Moscow, Islamabad, Almaty and Bishkek. You can book flight tickets at most high-rated hotels in Urumqi.
Airport Inquiring: (0991) 3801453 3802695
Hongshan (Red Hill) Ticket Office: 62, Youhao Nan Lu
Beimen Ticket Office: 2, Xinmin Lu
The airport shuttle bus is convenient for traveling between the airport and the downtown area. The shuttle bus city terminal is at Red Hill Park gate. It takes about half an hour to downtown Urumqi; price is 10 Yuan per person. If you would like to take a taxi, the cost is around 40 to 50 Yuan. Also public bus No. 51 (1 Yuan per person) can take passengers to the downtown area.
 
By Train

Urumqi is linked by rail to six major Chinese cities, including Xian, Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Zhengzhou and Lanzhou. Due to the great distances, we strongly advise you to take hard or soft sleeper berth. Train services also connect Urumqi with other main cities in Xinjiang, such as Korla, Aksu, Kuitun, and Liuyuan. The train station is in the southwest part of the city. It will cost you 10 Yuan to take a taxi from the city center to the station. There are ticket offices situate in Huanghe Lu and No. 3 in Jianshe Lu. Remember to buy tickets at least three days in advance.
 
By Bus

Long-haul buses go to most cities in Xinjiang every day. There are also special tourist lines to Heavenly Lake (120 km), Southern Pastures (75km), Turpan (200km), Shihezi (150km), etc.
Northern Suburb Passenger Transport Station
Address: 8, Dongba Jiahu Lu
Route: for places in eastern Xinjiang Province
Southern Suburb Passenger Transport Station
Address: 1, Yan'erwo Lu, Santunbei
Route: for destinations in southern Xinjiang Province
Nianzigou Passenger Transport Station
Address: Heilongjiang Lu
Route: mainly to places in southern and northern Xinjiang Province