Rail capacity boosted under new operational plan

Updated: 2016-05-17 07:20

By Peng Yining(China Daily)

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Rail capacity boosted under new operational plan

Passengers leave Nantong Railway Station in Jiangsu province on Sunday.[Photo by Xu Congjun/China Daily]

A new railway operating plan has increased the country's passenger and freight train capacity, according to China Railway Corp.

Passenger train capacity has been increased by 8 percent and freight train by 9 percent-the largest such adjustment for 10 years, the company said.

Under the new plan, 2,100 pairs of bullet trains are now operating out of a total of 3,400 pairs of passenger trains. One-third of the additional 300 pairs of passenger trains are operating in central and western areas, connecting small cities.

The additional bullet trains-more than 100 pairs-are running mainly in Beijing, Shanghai, Ningbo, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Guizhou.

Huang Xin, deputy director of China Railway Corp's Transportation Service Department, said that compared with previous upgrades in recent years, the new plan has added more trains running at normal speeds, connecting medium-sized and small cities.

The country's longest rail line now runs for nearly 5,000 kilometers, connecting Qiqihar in Heilongjiang province with Urumqi in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

Travel time on more than 100 lines has been shortened by at least an hour, Huang said, adding that it has been cut to 10 hours from 14 hours on a line running between Jilin and Beijing.

The number of lines connecting China with Europe and Central Asia has risen from 45 to 62, while the number of high-speed cargo lines, with trains running at 120 km/h, has increased from 193 to 251.

Sixty-nine lines have been added to connect tourist areas.

Three pairs of trains have been added between Beijing and Zhangjiakou in Hebei province-host cities for the 2022 Winter Olympics. The one-way trip takes less than 3 hours.

Peng Guiyang, a transportation expert at Guangzhou Railway Corp, said the new plan aims to meet the nation's surging demand for transportation.

Last year, China had 19,000 km of high-speed rail lines in operation, and the national network carried more than 2.5 billion people.