A key construction project of the 9th Five-Year Plan (1997–2002), the Xi’an-Ankang Railway was completed on January 8, 2001, one year ahead of schedule.
The Xi’an-Ankang Railway was the first line put into operation after China started its western development strategy. Its completion helped to ease transportation bottlenecks from northwest and north China to Chongqing Municipality and Sichuan Province. It is also significant for the development of coal and mineral industries along the line. Construction began on December 18, 1996, and a total of 10.3 billion yuan (US$1.2 billion) was invested in the project.