A new high-speed railway linking Yinchuan, capital of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, with Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi Province, both in western China, began operation on Saturday. The new railway service shortens the travel time between Yinchuan and Xi'an from 14 hours to about three hours, connecting Ningxia with the national high-speed railway network through the traffic hub of Xi'an. The 610-km railway was built with an investment of 80.5 billion yuan (about 12.33 billion U.S. dollars), said Ma Jian, deputy director of the Ningxia regional development and reform commission, at a press conference held Friday in Yinchuan. The speed of the train has been set to 250 km per hour, and conditions have been reserved to increase it to 350 km per hour. The train service incorporates Yinchuan into China's high-speed railway network after Jan. 20, following a transition period of intercity shuttles between Yinchuan and Xi'an from Dec. 26, 2020, to Jan. 20, 2021.