China Unveils RMB5 Trillion Plan to Expand Railways
Nov. 28 – China’s senior railway official said that the country’s national rail network will expand by 41,000 kilometers by 2020 and funded by a RMB5 trillion government spending plan.
Lu Dongfu, vice-minister of railways, told media during a press conference in Beijing that by 2020, China’s rail network will total 120,000 kilometers.
This should cut journey times between capital cities into half and make the railway network accessible to 90 percent of the population. The increased spending on infrastructure is part of China’s overall railway plan.
The expansion plan will include the construction of new rail lines, doubling of existing ones, and electrification of certain other sections. Lu said, “By 2020, 41,000 km of new lines will be in place, up from the original plan to build 16,000 km of track.”
New routes are set to be built to connect China with Russia, Mongolia and other neighboring countries, in addition to the expansion of cross-country routes. There have been revisions to the plan, including the high-speed rail network that is now set to be extended by 16,000 kilometers, instead of the previous plan of 12,000 kilometers.
Yang Zhongmin, director of the railway ministry’s planning department, told China Daily said the railway expansion would lead to 6 million jobs, and consume 20 million tons of steel plus 120 million tons of cement.
He added that several rail projects worth RMB1 trillion yuan are already being developed. By the end of 2008, China’s rail network would grow by 79,000 kilometers.
For 2009, RMB600 billion is set to be spent on the construction of track while an additional RMB100 billion will be spent buying rolling stock.
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