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Trains may travel at 300 kph in new rails
Updated: 2004-12-17 00:25

China plans to start building high-speed railways next year.

The new trains would travel at 200 kilometres per hour or faster, said the Ministry of Railways.

The government has approved construction of 3,000 kilometres of new railways, said Vice-Minister of Railways Lu Dongfu on Wednesday during a two-day seminar on train engineering attended by 16 foreign consultants.

One track in particular, from Wuhan in Central China's Hubei Province to Guangzhou in South China's Guangdong Province, and Zhengzhou in Central China's Henan Province to Xi'an in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, will carry trains traveling at speeds of up to 300 kph.

He Huawu, chief engineer of the ministry, said the trains are designed to travel at speeds of up to 350 kph.

According to the ministry's programme, China will build 10,000 km of new dedicated passenger railways and 2,000 km of high speed railways by 2020.

The 3,000 km of track to be built next year would run from Wuhan, capital of Hubei Province, to Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province; from Zhengzhou, capital of Henan Province, to Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi Province; from Beijing to Tianjin Municipality; and from Hefei, capital of East China's Anhui Province, to Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu Province.

Several days ago, Tianjin Mayor Dai Xianglong said Beijing and Tianjin leaders have agreed to build a new railway which will take only half an hour to get commuters between the two cities.

Construction of the 14.3 billion yuan (US$1.7 billion) project is scheduled to start before June next year and begin operating in 2007.

Proposed inter-city transport links are considered to be a step towards regional economic integration, with predictions that the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region will become the third polar of economic growth after the Yangtze River and Pearl River deltas.

The National Development and Reform Commission, which is doing much of the groundwork for the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-10), says integrated development in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region will be included in the national strategy for the first time.

Meanwhile, integration of regional development in other areas will become a leading national strategy and the country will plan more high-speed railways and expressways to shorten distances between cities, said the commission.

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