Construction began on the Yuan 27bn ($US 4.23bn) project in September 2013 and the 344km line is due to open next month, linking the provincial capital Haikou with Sanya, a popular tourist destination in the south of the island. The line has a design speed of 200km/h.

The 308km Eastern High-Speed Ring Railway opened in January 2011 and has a design speed of 250km/h.