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China starts work on Beijing-Shanghai express railway
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14:57, April 18, 2008

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The Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway with a designed speed of 350 kilometers per hour started construction on Friday.

The 1,318-km line, upon its completion in five years, would reduce the trip between the two metropolitans to five hours and lift the one-way transport capacity to 80 million passengers and more than 100 million tons of cargo annually, said the Ministry of Railway.

Attending a ceremony here, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao announced the formal start of the construction

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (2nd L) attends the ground-breaking ceremony of the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway in Beijing, April 18, 2008. The railway, which will be completed in five years and run at 300km/hr to 350 km/hr, would cut travel time between the Chinese capital and the country's leading financial hub from around 10 hours at present to about five hours.
With an investment of 220.9 billion yuan (31.6 billion U.S. dollars), the railway was the most expensive construction project China had started since 1949.

Trains would run at speeds of 350 km per hour. Last Friday, the country's first domestically produced train, able to reach 350 kilometers per hour, rolled off the production line.

According to the ministry, all the technological equipments for the self-designed line was produced by domestic companies.

About 50 percent of the investment was from the state-owned Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway Co. Ltd. The rest would be raised through share offerings, bank loans and foreign investment, said a source with the ministry, without elaborating on specific proportions.

Source: Xinhua

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