Guangdong to invest RMB139b on railway
South China's Guangdong province will invest 139 billion yuan (US$16.8 billion) on nine new rail projects with a total mileage of 2,164 kilometers, according to the minutes of a latest meeting summary of the Ministry of Railways and the Guangdong provincial government on the nine railway projects.
When these rail projects are completed, the mileage of Guangdong's railway lines is expected to reach 4,000 km and the trans-provincial railway routes will increase from the current three to five, noted the minutes.
The nine railway projects include one of China's planned south-north railway artery, the Wuhan-Guangzhou special passenger rail route, whose Guangdong section will go into construction within this year, and became operational in 2008.
The most attractive railway project of the nine is the fourth line of Guangzhou-Shenzhen railway. The 147-km new line is expected to greatly increase the transportation capacity between Guangzhou and Shenzhen, in addition to the current three overloaded lines linking the two cities.
The minutes noted that construction of the fourth line of Guangzhou-Shenzhen railway will be launched before the end of 2004 and be put into trial operation as early as possible. Experts believed the new line will serve as a major channel between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong.
Other new projects like the city-to-city rail routes in the Pearl River Delta region, Guangdong section of the Luoyang- Zhanjiang railway, the Guangzhou-Shenzhen express railway will all start construction next year and go into service in 2007 and 2008, said the minutes.
As the economic hub in south China, busy railway transportation is busy in Guangdong all round the year, especially during busy seasons.
Statistics from the Guangzhou Railway Group noted that when most passengers in China traveled by train from Sept. 28 to Oct. 7 for the National Day tourist season, the province's railway sector handled nearly two million passengers, hitting an all-time high.
These new railway projects under way will greatly increase Guangdong's transportation capacity to alleviate its tense situation in rail transport.