China sets a new record modernizing railways sector

BEIJING : China has 25,000 km of high-speed railway, accounting for over 60 percent of the world’s total, official data showed.

By the end of 2017, China had built and put into service 127,000 km of railway, up 150 percent from 1978 when the country started its reform and opening-up, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The figures came from a report released by the NBS which said China has made great strides in transport system construction.

By the end of 2017, China had built 4.77 million km of highway, up 440 percent from 1978, among which 136,000 km was expressway, said the NBS.

China Railways Corp, the country’s rail operator, plans to purchase 500 bullet trains with an operating speed of 350 kilometers per hour from China Railway Rolling Stock Corp by 2020, it said in a statement.

This move indicates that China is raising the operating speed of its high-speed trains from 300 kph since 2011.

China’s new-generation bullet train, the Fuxing, will make seven round trips each day between Beijing and Shanghai from Sept 21 at 350 kph. It will be the world’s fastest commercial bullet train, cutting the travel time between the two cities from 5.5 hours to 4.5 hours.

Eager to compete with rivals in Japan and Germany, CRC and CRRC, China’s railway vehicle manufacturer, also signed a cooperation agreement to deepen relations in every link of the railway industry chain, from research and development to design, manufacturing, installation, maintenance and financing.

CRRC Chairman Liu Hualong said the partnership will improve China’s railway industry, optimize the allocation of resources, modernize the current financing mode in the sector, and deepen the impact of the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as lead to the export of more new-generation bullet trains.

China started to run its first 350 kph high-speed train between Beijing and Tianjin in August 2008 and opened at least three more high-speed lines nationwide in the following years, until the government limited the maximum speed at 300 kph in 2011.


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