NANNING -- Work began on Sunday on a high-speed rail link between Nanning and Guangzhou that will cut travel time between the two south China cities from almost 13 hours to three.
A ceremony was held in Wuzhou, a city in southwestern Guangxi, to mark the commencement on Sunday. Present at the function were local government authorities of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Guangdong Province, as well as Liu Zhijun, Minister of Railways.
The link will be 577.1 km long, of which 61 percent will be in Guangxi, and allow trains to run up to 200 km per hour. It will be completed in an estimated 54 months and cost about 41 billion yuan (about 6 billion US dollars), according Chen Boshi, chief of Nanning Railways Administration.
The cost will be shared by the Ministry of Railways, Guangdong Province and Guangxi, said Chen.
Guangdong Province Governor Huang Huahua said he hoped the link would advance the goal of a Pan-Pearl River Delta and help connect southeast China to members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Liu said the project was significant, as it came amid the world financial crisis and thus would help boost domestic demand.