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Rapid transit railway construction on track
( 2003-08-22 10:26) (China Daily)

The construction of a rapid transit railway connecting Nanjing and Shanghai will start before the beginning of next year, according to Jiang Hongkun, acting mayor of Nanjing, capital city of East China's Jiangsu Province.

Statistics show that when the railway is finished, the train will run at about 350 miles per hour and the original traveling time of three hours between the two cities will be reduced to only one hour.

"The Shanghai-Nanjing rapid transit railway will greatly accelerate the integration of the cities in the Yangtze River Delta region and speed up their economic development," said Zhang Feng, head of the provincial City Development Research Institute.

"Therefore, the programme of this railway must be in accordance with the transportation network of the whole area of the delta," Zhang emphasized.

According to him, a research group has been set up by Southeast University in Nanjing, Zhejiang University in Hangzhou and Tongji University in Shanghai, which is responsible for the comprehensive planning of the transportation network in the delta region.

From the point of view of the experts in the research group, advanced wheel and rail technologies are suggested to be used in the construction of the rapid transit railway. It would also connect with other railways in the delta region.

Zhang added that there would be stations both in Wuxi and Suzhou along the rapid transit railway between Nanjing and Shanghai.

However, a member of the Nanjing Economy Co-ordination Office who refused to be named said there might not be a station in Suzhou since the city is too close to Shanghai.

Playing a supporting role, Nanjing has already made plans for the construction of the railway station.

"We have already chosen two places for the railway station,'' said Wang Yuxin, head of the comprehensive department of Nanjing Planning Bureau. "One is in the north of the city and the other is in the south."

At the beginning of June, the Ministry of Railways decided to build the station in the south of Nanjing.

Experts estimated that the new railway station would be about six times as large as the existing Nanjing Railway Station and would have a extremely large passenger flow. A new business center would also appear around the future railway station.

Much attention has always been given to rapid transit railway projects by the cities in the Yangtze River Delta region.

Mayor of Hangzhou (capital of East China's Zhejiang Province) Mao Linsheng used to talk about the dream of the "one-hour economic circle," referring to rapid transit railways that could bring people from one city to another in the delta region within one hour.

The cities in the delta region have been sparing no efforts in pushing forward their integration and co-operation.

At the fourth session of Yangtze River Delta City Economy Co-ordination Conference held on August 15-16, delegates from the 16 cities together signed an agreement on taking the opportunity of the 2010 Expo to accelerate their co-operation.

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