China’s high-speed rail network world’s longest

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/12/29 22:53:39

China to spend $500 billion on railway during 2016-20

China's total railway network reached 121,000 kilometers by the end of 2015, the world's second longest, including the world's longest high-speed railway network of 19,000 kilometers, according to a white paper released on Thursday.

The white paper, titled Development of China's Transport, reviews the sector's tremendous changes in the past decades and sets goals for the coming years.

The sector should quicken its pace of development, and fully play its role as a vanguard for completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects in 2020, said the document issued by the State Council's Information Office.

At a press conference on Thursday, vice minister of transport, Yang Yudong, disclosed that China plans to invest 3.5 trillion yuan ($503.6 billion) in railway construction during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20).

By 2020, China will increase the length of high-speed railways in operation to 30,000 kilometers, connecting more than 80 percent of its big cities.

The country will also renovate 30,000 kilometers of expressways and provide tarmac and cement roads and shuttle bus services for administrative villages with the necessary conditions, while all villages will have access to mail service, the white paper said.

Over the past decades, China's transport network has undergone drastic changes, especially the railway sector.

When the country was founded in 1949, the total railway length stood at just 21,800 kilometers, and half of which was paralyzed.

While the vast network has enhanced connectivity in large swathes of the country, regional disparities remain as construction has lagged behind in the less-developed western regions. In recent years, the government is seeking to narrow the gap.

The white paper pledged to speed up the construction of railways in the central and western areas.

China on Wednesday put into operation one of the world's longest high-speed railways, linking the country's prosperous eastern coast to the least-developed southwestern region.

The Shanghai-Kunming line traverses five provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guizhou and Yunnan and cuts travel time from Shanghai to Kunming from 35 to 11 hours, according to China Railway Corporation.

Also on Wednesday, another high-speed rail line linking Kunming and Nanning, capital of southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, was launched.

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