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Part of Quake-damaged Railway Trunk Route Reopens

The southern section of the Baoji-Chengdu railway, badly damaged in Monday's earthquake, was working full tilt from 1:00 AM Friday after workers finished repairs on a key bridge.

Workers removed more than 200 cu m of stone and earth dumped on the Jinguiyan Bridge on the southern line of the Baoji-Chengdu railway by the quake.

The line is a key north-south route in west China. The fall, including a boulder measuring 110 cu m, caused the bridge to crack, according to a spokesman with the publicity department of Chengdu Railway Administration.

Monday's quake also led to collapse of a tunnel through mountains at the northern section of the bridge, and a 40-car passing freight train derailed and trapped inside the tunnel after hitting rock dislodged by the quake, paralyzing the railway linking Chengdu, capital of Sichuan, with Baoji City in Shaanxi Province.

The freight train, carrying 500 tonnes of gasoline, caught fire and burned for about 40 hours before it was put out at 6:00 AM Wednesday.

The line to north of Jinguiyan bridge inside Sichuan Province reopened to traffic by 10:31 AM on Tuesday.

The northern section of Baoji-Chengdu railway, however, is still closed to traffic.

(Xinhua News Agency May 16, 2008)

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