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30,000-kilometer high-speed railway to cover 80% of urban areas by 2020

By Zhang Tianrui (People's Daily Online)    17:51, July 21, 2016

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) recently announced that by 2020, China’s railway network will cover 150,000 kilometers, including 30,000 kilometers of high-speed rail, to cover 80 percent of Chinese cities. By the end of 2015, operating segments of China’s railways had already reached 121,000 kilometers, with 19,000 kilometers of high-speed rail.

An even longer-term construction goal for the railway network is around 200,000 kilometers, including 45,000 kilometers of high-speed rail. The network will radiate in all directions to connect every city with a population over 200,000. Meanwhile, high-speed railways will join every provincial capital and cities with populations above 500,000. Transport circles between adjacent cities will have travel times between one and four hours, while transport time within cities will be cut down to between 30 minutes and two hours.

The official report from NDRC, the top economic planner, titled “Medium and Long-Term Railway Network Plan,” also stated that new high-speed railway projects would adopt a minimum standard of 250 kilometers per hour and above. For those routes crossing densely populated areas and very large cities, the speed may go up to 350 kilometers per hour. Intercity railways will mainly be 200 kilometers per hour or below.

China’s current high-speed rail network is based on eight main lines, together called the “Four Vertical and Four Horizontal” system. In the future, however, that system will transform into an “Eight Vertical and Eight Horizontal” railway network.

The eight verticals include passageways between Beijing and Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong, Beijing and Harbin and more. The eight horizontals include passageways along the Yangtze River and the Europe-Asia Transport Passageway, as well routes between Beijing and Lanzhou, Qingdao and Yinchuan, Shanghai and Kunming and more.

China’s ongoing successful railway construction has so far been accomplished with over 800 billion yuan in yearly investments. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor: Wu Chengliang,Bianji)

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