Business / Industries

High-speed rail puts China on the fast track

By ZHONG NAN (China Daily) Updated: 2015-10-29 09:43

"High-speed railway lines are practical models that can offer bright prospects for the rail sector, especially for strategic investors," said Luo. "Successful examples such as the high-speed rail routes including Beijing-Shanghai, Guangzhou-Shenzhen and Shanghai-Kunming have all showed that stable passenger demand can generate handsome financial returns from a long-term perspective."

For instance, ticket sales on the Beijing-Shanghai route amounted to 30 billion yuan ($4.71 billion) in 2014, with a net profit of 1.2 billion yuan. The line carried more than 100 million passengers between the two cities, up 27 percent from a year earlier.

More importantly, Luo said high-speed lines can help the government balance disparities in economic development between the eastern and western regions, as well as showcase the reliability and sales potential of the industry to the global markets.

Railway investment has seen a steady increase during the nation's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15), from 580 billion yuan in 2011 to 800 billion yuan in 2014, according to the Ministry of Transport.

China had more than 16,000 kilometers of high-speed rail at the end of 2014, up from 11,028 at the end of 2013, and 28 of the mainland's 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities now have access to bullet trains.

China introduced high-speed rail service in 2007 and its daily users have increased from 237,000 in 2007 to 2.49 million last year. The country now owns the world's longest high-speed railway network.

CRC provided services to 1.94 billion passengers between January and September this year across the country, up 9.8 percent year-on-year.

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