China's cross-strait Yuehai Railway ferry has conducted a flatcar military transport, boosting the military's rapid maneuver capabilities, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) flagship newspaper reported Monday.
With the railway capable of carrying out such operations, the time needed for military delivery from Guangdong to Hainan across the Qiongzhou Strait will be cut by nearly ten hours compared with previous means of having to transfer to shipping, the PLA Daily said.
Railway flatcar transportation via ferry, the first of its kind on the Yuehai Railway, was successfully carried out on Friday, marking a leap in the railway's capabilities in military transportation, the newspaper report quoted sources with the Central Military Commission's logistical support department as saying.
Yuehai Railway, which connects the island province of Hainan with Guangdong on the mainland covering a distance of 22.5 kilometers, came into service in 2003. It has been tasked with military transportation since 2006.
However, the service had not been used for flatcar or permitted overweight or oversize transportation, and related military missions had to rely on shipping, leaving the transportation volume and efficiency of the railway underdeveloped, the report said.
Authorities with the CMC started to research the railway carrying out such missions in 2015 and conducted analysis and tests, it said.
The opening of flatcar transportation is expected to further enable military transportation to and from Hainan through the rail, it said.