China to invest 700 billion RMB in railways in 2011

11:10, January 05, 2011      

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China will invest 700 billion yuan (106 billion U.S. dollars) in building railways over the course of 2011, according to a meeting of the national railway work conference.

The money would be used for 70 new intercity projects.

China will open a 33-billion-U.S.-dollar high-speed rail link between Beijing and Shanghai in June, cutting the journey between the two cities in half to less than five hours. China plans to invest 3 trillion to 4 trillion yuan in its high-speed rail network between 2011 and 2015.

China CNR Corp. and CSR Corp., the nation's two largest train builders, surged in Shanghai trading after the government said it would spend 700 billion yuan ($106 billion) on rail construction this year.

CSR, the word's third-largest high-speed train producer behind Bombardier and Alstom, will focus on the domestic market and tap more overseas opportunities, including those in the United States and Europe, to become No. 1 in the high-speed railway manufacturing sector, Zheng Changhong, president of CSR, said in an interview with the 21st Century Business Herald.

Since China rolled out its first high-speed railway between Beijing and Tianjin in 2008, the country has ranked first in high-speed rail for speed and distance.

CSR's CRH380A, China's latest high-speed train, set a world record on Dec. 3 by traveling at a maximum speed of 486.1 kilometers per hour during a trial run on the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway — as fast as a jet cruising at slow speed.

The country is operating a high-speed rail network with a combined length of 7,531 kilometers, which is the world's longest. By 2012, this figure will almost double to 13,000 kilometers.

"The next five years will also be a peak period in terms of railway construction, with annual investment touching 700 billion yuan," Zheng said.

China has also stepped up efforts to take a bigger slice of the global market, he said. High-speed rail projects in Thailand and Laos, which China will help to build, are likely to start in 2011.

Since 2003, China has signed agreements or Memoranda of Understanding for bilateral cooperation on railways with more than 30 countries, including the US, Russia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Poland and India.

According to the government's blueprint, China's railway network will serve more than 90 percent of the population by 2020, with a budgeted cost of 2 trillion yuan.

By People's Daily Online

(Editor:黄蓓蓓)

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