High-speed rail links approved
Updated: 2006-03-14 05:40
A high-speed rail link between Beijing and Shanghai and a maglev line between
Shanghai and neighbouring Hangzhou have been approved by the State Council,
The Beijing-Shanghai railway will "use high speed wheel track technology,"
the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) the country's top planner
said on its website yesterday.
A limited company will be established, which will be responsible for building
and operating the 1,320-kilometre line; and private and foreign investments are
welcome, the statement said.
maglev rail line in Shanghai.
However, there were no other information on the Shanghai-Hangzhou maglev
The feasibility studies for both projects are not complete so details such as
when they will be started are not known.
The approval for the Beijing-Shanghai railway comes nine years after the
Ministry of Railways submitted the proposal in 1997.
Though it was widely acknowledged that the project would significantly boost
transport capacity and economic development, the debate over which technology
should be used to build the rail delayed the project.
Now, the NDRC statement said, various parties have finally reached a
consensus on significant issues including the technology solution. "The time is
ripe for construction."
Designed for speeds of 300 kilometres per hour, with the maximum at 350
kilometres per hour, the railway is expected to shorten travel time between the
two cities from 13 hours to less than 5.
Minister of Railways Liu Zhijun told China Daily last week that the
200-billion-yuan (US$24.7 billion) project would be fully based on "our own
The maglev line between Shanghai and Hangzhou has also been under study for
nearly a decade.
The construction of the rail is expected to start at the end of the
year, said Sheng Changli, vice-governor of Zhejiang Province March 5.
The new line costs 35 billion yuan (US$4.3 billion), and is expected
to shorten travel time between the two cities to less than half an hour
from up to 3 hours.
It is expected to go into operation before the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai,
Xinhua News Agency reported.
The Shanghai-Hangzhou railway will in part use German technology, but the
main technology comes from Chinese engineers, sources said.