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More passenger railway lines to boost domestic demand
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16:16, December 10, 2008

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91 percent of Beijing-Shanghai express railway is under construction

Over 110,000 workers from 700 construction companies are working 24 hours a day for the project and the number is expected to rise next year. Now the infrastructure construction of some key river-crossing bridges is well underway.

A total of 42 billion yuan has been invested since the project was launched on April 18. It is expected that the investment will total over 50 billion yuan by the end of this year. So far the construction goes on very smoothly. As of the project’s quality, a series of comprehensive measures such as source control, quality supervision and safety monitoring have been carried out. Thanks to support from local government, the land expropriation and housing removal were competed satisfactorily.

Daily investment is equivalent to 200 million yuan

The project consumes 10,000 tons of steel, 3.5 tons of cement, 110,000 cubic meters of concrete each day, which are equivalent to 200 million yuan. There are over 113,000 workers on site and 23,500 pieces of equipment. The annual investment totaled 50 billion yuan, which sets the new record.

The railway construction will bring tremendous benefit for the national economy as well as related industries and trades, for example, employment, raw material as well as equipment and manufacturing. It is reported that 15 billion yuan from total 100 billion yuan central investment will be spent on railway construction, and 11.4 billion yuan among the 15 billion yuan will be on this project.

The project also boosts the economic development in provinces and cities along the express railway. Upon its completion in five years, the 1,318-km line will be the longest express line in the world with the most advanced standard. The railway has already attracted over 220.8 billion yuan investment therefore it is also the railway project with the largest investment in China since 1949. The train will run at up to 350 kilometres per hour during the five-hour journey when the project is completed.

According a spokesperson for the Ministry of Railway, the investment ratio for railway and other related industries and trades is 1:10, and additionally, 40 percent of the total investment will be spent on local consumption.

The express line will start from Beijing South Railway Station to Shanghai Hongqiao Station, running through seven provinces and the cities of Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shandong, Anhui, Jiangsu and Shanghai, as well as two economic zones of Pan-Bohai Sea region and Yangtze Delta region.

Total steel consumption equals to 120 "Bird Nests"

A total of 5 million tons of steel will be consumed for the railway construction, which is equal to 120 times that of the “Bird Nest”, the National Stadium where the opening and closing ceremony of Beijing Olympics were held. More importantly, all steel used for the construction is home made.

The large number of bridges to be built along the express line accounts for the huge steel consumption. The bridges take up 1,059 km or 80.4 percent of the total mileage. One reason is that the construction of bridges requires less land, the other reason being the poor geographical conditions along the railway line.

The project will create more jobs next year

In Jiangsu province, many locals have joined the railway construction. Zhang Ruikai, a local farmer who used to work as a construction worker in Beijing said he was quite satisfied with the job. "Now I can make 1,800 yuan per month, but in the past, my wage was only 1,000. Beside the work with the railway, I can also do some farming in my spare time,” said Zhang.

There are some 40 locals on the project, accounting for 20 percent of the total workforce in the region. As the project progresses, more locals are needed to speed up the construction. According to official estimation, there will be 1,500 to 1,800 people working for the project everyday next year.

By People's Daily Online

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