China building world's largest high-speed rail network

China will expand its high-speed rail network to be the world's largest in coming three years with a total length of 13,000 kilometers, according to Thursday's China Securities Journal.

By the end of 2012, China would have more than 110,000 kilometers of operational railways, including 13,000 kilometers of high-speed rail, said Liu Zhijun, Minister of Railways at a national meeting on rail construction.

China would bring 26,000 kilometers of new railways into operation from 2010 to 2012, including 9,200 kilometers of high-speed rail, Liu said.

Based on the calculation that one kilometer of high-speed rail costs 100 million yuan (14.64 million U.S. dollars), the 9,200 kilometers of high-speed rail would cost more than 900 billion yuan, according to China Securities Journal.

China currently has about 3,300 kilometers of operational high-speed rail, according to the Ministry of Railways (MOR).

Last year, China completed two long distance high-speed railways, one between Wuhan and Guangzhou, and the other between Zhengzhou and Xi'an. Before that, China had built high-speed railways between Beijing and Tianjin, Shijiazhuang and Taiyuan, Qingdao and Jinan, Hefei and Wuhan, and Hefei and Nanjing.

A number of new high-speed railways are under construction, of which the Beijing-Shanghai line has a length of 1,318 km and a designed travel speed of 350 km/h.

(2010-03-04 source:china.org.cn)