Work starts on intercity rail line in Jilin

By He Na (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-05-14 06:57

Construction work on the first intercity express rail link in Northeast China's Jilin Province kicked off yesterday.

The 8.6 billion yuan ($112 million) project will link the provincial capital Changchun with Jilin, the province's two largest cities. Work is scheduled to be finished at the end of 2010.

The express line is part of a province-wide overhaul of the railway system aimed at meeting the increasing demand for rail services.

The province signed a 53 billion yuan ($6.9 billion) contract with the Ministry of Railways involving 18 construction projects, said Qiu Zhuang, chairman of the Jilin transportation investment exploration corporation.

"With the goal of making business, tourism and communication ties between the two cities more convenient, the express rail line link should become the main means of transportation once it's operating," said Qiu.

The link is expected to cut the travel time between the two cities to 30 minutes, or about a third of the current running time, he said.

The route is 111 kilometers long, and trains will run at speeds of up to 200 kilometers per hour. Demand for high-speed services between the two cities is said to be high.

The Ministry of Railways, the Jilin provincial government and the China State Construction Engineering Corporation will share the cost of building the rail line.

He said they would consider affordability and the experiences of other intercity express lines around the country when setting ticket prices.

Jilin is 124 kilometers east of Changchun. The regular high-speed train between the two takes 1 hour and 37 minutes, and tickets cost 11 yuan ($1.40).

(China Daily 05/14/2007 page3)

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