Feb. 18 – China’s operational high-speed railways have exceeded 3,300 kilometers, the Ministry of Railways said on its website Thursday.
China finished two high-speed railways in 2009, one running between Wuhan-Guangzhou and the other between Zhengzhou-Xi’an. Both lines have an operating speed of 350 kph. China also has high-speed railways linking Beijing with Tianjin, Shijiazhuang with Taiyuan, Qingdao with Jinan, and Hefei with Wuhan and Nanjing.
According to Chinese state media, a number of new high-speed railways are being built and will be finished in the coming few years, foremost being the Beijing-Shanghai line at a length of 1,318 kilometers and a designed travel speed of 350 kph. Construction of the line started in April 2008 and is expected to be completed by 2013. When finished, the line will cut travel times between the two cities to only five hours from about 12 hours.
Railway passengers topped a record 1.53 billion last year while cargo transportation hit 3.32 billion tons, according to the ministry.
Railway investment surged 80 percent to RMB600 billion in 2009 boosted by the RMB4-trillion stimulus package. The government has planned a record RMB823.5 billion for 2010 to extend the network to 90,000 kilometers by the end of the year.
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