Guangzhou plans new rail station
Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province, is planing a 13-billion-yuan (US$1.6-billion) railway station to handle tens of millions of passengers every year.
Construction of the new railway station officially kicked off yesterday, aiming to help build the southern Chinese metropolis into a railway transportation hub.
By 2020, the city will be able to handle 80 million passengers annually.
Guangzhou, which sits in the heart of the Pearl River Delta, will be able to compete with Shanghai, Beijing and Wuhan to become one of the largest railway passenger transportation centre in China.
The new railway station is expected to start operation in 2008 when the Beijing Olympic Games is staged.
Liu Zhijun, minister of railway, said the new Guangzhou Railway Station will be the most modern and largest passenger railway station in Asia.
"It will also become a pivotal station in the prosperous Pearl River Delta," Liu said.
The Guangdong provincial government also expects the new railway station will help fortify Guangdong's status as a logistics centre and contribute to the province's sustainable economic growth.
Huang Huahua, governor of Guangdong Province, said his province will use a variety of ways to raise the funds for the project.
The new station will become the starting point and terminal of the current Guangzhou-Kowloon, Guangzhou-Shenzhen, Guangzhou-Foshan and Guangzhou-Maoming railway lines and the future Guangzhou-Zhuhai, Guangzhou-Wuhan railway service.
Located in Shibi Town in Guangzhou's Panyu District, the new station will be connected to light rail, metro and expressway networks in the Pearl River Delta.
Passengers who arrive in the new station from around the country will quickly be able to reach major cities in the Pearl River Delta and neighbouring Hong Kong and Macao via the advanced light rail, metro and expressway networks.
Guangzhou will have three stations when the new one starts operating.
The Guangzhou Railway Station and the Eastern Railway Station are located in the city's Yuexiu and Tianhe districts.
But the two railway stations have been overloaded and can not meet the growing demands.
The Guangzhou Railway Station handles the largest number of passengers annually during the "Spring Festival rush,'' when millions of Chinese hurry home for family reunion, and has therefore become one of the busiest railway stations in China.
The Guangdong provincial government also plans to build more than 600 kilometres of light rail tracks, forming a network to link the major cities in the Pearl River Delta before 2010, Huang said.
The network would link Shenzhen, Dongguan, Huizhou, Zhuhai, Foshan, Zhongshan and Zhaoqing in the eastern and western parts of the Pearl River Delta. It would likely cost more than 78.45 billion yuan (US$9.45 billion).