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Rail system to link 8 cities in Jiangsu
By Bao Xinyan (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-11-16 22:37

A plan to link eight cities in East China's Jiangsu Province with a fast railway network is under way, sources with the Jiangsu Provincial Construction Bureau say.

The network would connect Nanjing, Zhenjiang, Changzhou, Wuxi, Suzhou, Yangzhou, Taizhou and Nantong, all of which are along the Yangtze River, reported Modern Express, a Nanjing newspaper.

The network would be composed of city subways and suburban trains with up to 1,460 kilometres of railways, 16 large stations and about 160 normal stations.

Construction would be carried out during the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-10).

A senior official of the programming division of the Jiangsu Construction Bureau said details are still being worked out.

"It is still under discussion," he said.

Experts estimate that the railway network would shorten journeys between these cities to between one and two hours.

Lu Ximing, head of the Shanghai Urban Transportation Planning Research Institute said railway networks should expand to match city growth.

The huge investment should also take into account economic benefits, and the benefits of railway transportation are determined by passenger flows, Lu wrote in an article.

Statistics show that 99.5 per cent of the passenger flow in the area along the Yantze River used trains and buses in 2002. It is estimated that until 2010, 99.1 per cent of all passenger travels will be done by train or bus.

City railway networks can solve problems of traffic congestion in developed countries and regions.

In Tokyo, railway and subway networks account for 80 per cent of the total passenger transportation, 66 per cent in Paris, 55 per cent in Moscow and Hong Kong respectively.

Last year, cities in the Yangtze River Delta -- like Suzhou, Nanjing and Wuxi in Jiangsu Province, Ningbo and Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province -- began to plan their own city railway networks.

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