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China to build out 45,000 km rail network

07/21/2016| 1:20:19 PM| 中文

China plans to expand its current high-speed rail system into a network of 16 rail corridors by 2030.

China plans to expand its current high-speed rail system into a network of 16 rail corridors by 2030, under a program that serves the dual purpose of providing better transport services for China's 1.3 billion people while also spending hundreds of billions of dollars to support the economy. The envisioned high-speed rail grid will consist of eight north-south and eight east-west corridors, and will be completed in 15 years. 

When complete, the grid will total 45,000 kilometers in length and connect all provincial capitals and cities of more than 500,000 with high-speed rail service. That would represent more than double the current network, which is already the world's largest with 19,000 kilometers of track at the end of last year.

China has used big spending on infrastructure like high-speed rail partly to support the economy as it shows signs of slowing sharply and entering a new growth phase. China also hopes to export its newly gained skills in the high-tech sector by building high-speed rail lines for other countries, and has signed a few contracts to date.

China recorded more than 5 billion passenger trips on its bullet trains in the past eight years, according to new data from the national rail operator.

The NDRC's latest ambitious targets show Beijing has no intention of slowing down its investment in railroad building. China's fixed-asset investment in the railway system has exceeded 800 billion yuan ($120 billion) annually in the past few years, and the government plans to continue that rate by spending 3.8 trillion yuan on railroad infrastructure between 2016 and 2020.

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TAGS: high-speed rail | China | ground transportation
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