China has finished a 2700 km ring railway around the Taklamakan desert in SW Xinjiang province The final part, the 825 km Hepingak Railway, was opened on June 16, 2022. As 534 km of this section is a sandstorm area, five sand dune bridges with a total length of 50 km were built to allow sandstorms to pass under, and a 50 million m2 “green wall” made from dry straw arranged in 1 m2 grids was constructed and planted with 13 million bushes and tall trees, such as barracuda, ginkgo biloba, and sagebrush. The line operates both passenger trains and freight trains which transport cotton, walnuts, dates, and mineral products. The design speed of the train is 120 km/h. 

An impressive 45 sec video on the construction can be found under

Photo by 文智泉