Bullet train network still moving at speed

By Luo Wangshu | China Daily | Updated: 2017-01-06 07:29

Bullet train network still moving at speed

A train crosses a bridge in Guizhou province on Dec 29, the first day of operations for the Kunming-Guiyang high-speed railway.Zou Hong / China Daily

More lines were added to the nation's railway infrastructure last year as work moved forward to meet the government's construction targets. Luo Wangshu reports.

The opening of two high-speed rail lines on Dec 28 and the start of work on a new line the following day signaled that China's high-speed rail construction program continues to move forward at a rapid pace.

Last year, four major high-speed lines were opened, bringing the total distance covered by the nation's high-speed rail network to more than 22,000 km, accounting for 60 percent of the high-speed rail networks around the world, according to China Railways Corp, the national rail operator.

The four lines are: the Zhengzhou-Xuzhou railway connecting central and East China; the Chongqing-Wan-zhou railway, the first high-speed railway to enter the Three Gorges area; the Kunming-Guiyang railway which links Shanghai and Kunming; and the Kunming-Baise railway, connecting Kunming and Guangzhou.

Of the four, the newest, the Kunming-Guiyang railway, is part of the Shanghai-Kunming line, and at 2,252 kilometers it is the longest of China's east-west rail lines.

"High-speed rail continued its stable and steady development in 2016, the first year of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20). The most significant moment was the opening of the Shanghai-Kunming rail line as a passage to link east and west," said Yang Hao, a professor of rail transportation management at Beijing Jiaotong University.

"Only two sections of the north-south and east-west high-speed railway grid have not yet opened - the lines between Jinan and Shijiazhuang and between Baoji and Lanzhou. At the current rate of progress, we expect to fulfill our target before 2020, much earlier than scheduled" he said.

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