The operating length of China's high-speed railway will reach 13,000 km by the end of 2012, forming the world's largest high-speed railway network, according to the latest plan of the Ministry of Railways, the China Securities Journal reported.
In the next three years China will see 26,000 km railways put into use, among them 9,200 km high-speed, Minister of Railways Liu Zhijun said during the 2010 National Railway Working Conference in January.
The cost for building 1 km of high-speed railway is about 100 million yuan ($14.6 million); the investment in the network for the next three years will amount to more than 900 billion yuan.
At present, more than 40 high-speed railway projects are under construction, sources from the ministry said.
According to the Ministry of Railways' long-term blueprint, China will have four east-west high-speed railway lines and four south-north lines. By that time, the traveling time between neighboring provincial capitals could be reduced to one to two hours, said Lu Dongfu, vice head of the Ministry of Railways.