In the past Sichuan was difficulty accessed. An old saying goes: “The way to Shu (an abbreviation of Sichuan Province) is so difficult that even more difficult than going to the blue skies”. However, great changes have taken place. Now Sichuan owns a three-dimensional transportation system integrating aviation, railways and highways, and has become an important hub of communications in Southwest China.
Sichuan has three major airports: Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, Panzhihua Bao’anying Airport and Yibin Caiba Airport. The Southwest Airlines with its headquarters in Chengdu has 102 air routes, including 96 domestic air routes and 6 international and regional charted air routes with southwest as the center, which radiate to all parts of the country and link with Bangkok and Hongkong. The Chengdu-Beijing air route (1,700 kilometers long) is one of the main lines in China. In addition, the Chengdu-Shanghai (782 kilometers long) and Chengdu-Guangzhou (1,493 kilometers long) air routes are important civil aviation lines in China. Xichang, Dazhou and Luzhou airports also have a number of domestic air lines, which play an important role in the political, economic, technological and cultural exchanges between Sichuan and other provinces in China.
Sichuan has constructed 5 trunk railways, i.e., Chengdu-Chongqing, Baoji-Chengdu, Chengdu-Kunming, Neijiang-Kunming and Dazhou-Chengdu railways; and 9 branch railways, i.e., the Sanjiang-Wansheng, Zizhong-Weiyuan, Chengdu-Wenchuan, Deyang-Tianchi, Guanghan-Yuejiashan, Guangyuan-Wangcang, Yibin-Gongquan, Xiaoli and Panzhihua railways.
The Baoji-Chengdu Railway starts from Baoji in Shaanxi, enters Sichuan after passing Lueyang and Yangping Pass, and arrives in Chengdu via Guangyuan, 669 kilometers long, including 374 kilometers in Sichuan. It is the first railway that links Sichuan with other parts of the country, and the first electrified railway in China. The Chengdu-Chongqing Railway links Chengdu with Chongqing, and extends to Guizhou and South China, 505 kilometers long. The Chengdu-Kunming Railway links the Nanning-Kunming Railway in the south; and it is the main rail line that links Chengdu with Beihai via Kunming, in addition to the Neijiang-Kunming Railway and the Dazhou-Chengdu Railway that links North Sichuan as the trunk railway.
All the highways in Sichuan take Chengdu as the center, and the trunk and branch highways radiate to all parts of the province, interwoven with the east-west and south-north highways. The main trunk highways in Sichuan include the Sichuan-Tibet, Sichuan-Shaanxi, Sichuan-Lanzhou, Sichuan-Chongqing, and Sichuan-Yunnan highways.
The Chengdu Xinnanmen Tourist Transportation Center is the largest bus hub station in Sichuan. The Chengdu-Dujiangyan, Chengdu-Mianyang, Chengdu-Leshan-Mount Emei, Chengdu-Ya’an and Neijiang-Zigong-Yibin expressways link all the main tourist attractions in the province.
Sichuan is also one of the provinces with the advanced waterways. The Yangtze River runs through the province, being the main water route in the province. In addition, the Yangtze River is linked with the Minjiang and Jinsha rivers, forming a natural waterway transportation network in the province. Altogether 19 cities, 120-some counties and over 1,400 townships can be reached by ships, and all the important industrial zones and cities and towns are linked with each other by waterways.