E. China builds 105 bln yuan railway network

A ceremony was held Thursday to mark the start of construction on seven railway projects and operation of another three high-speed railroads, linking Fujian Province with other east China provinces.

These railways, with a combined investment of 105 billion yuan (15 billion U.S. dollars), constitute a transport system linking nine cities in Fujian with neighboring Jiangxi, Anhui and Zhejiang provinces.

Fujian plans to extend its rail network to 6,000 km by 2015 from 1,624 km in 2008, at an estimated cost of 350 billion yuan.

"Passengers would be able to travel between Fuzhou and capital cities of neighboring provinces in three or five hours, and to Beijing in seven hours," said Zhang Jingui, an official with Railway Construction Office of Fujian Province.

The railroads are expected to link Fujian's ports of Zhangzhou, Xiamen and Putian with major inland cities, including Hefei, capital of eastern Anhui Province, and Ganzhou, a transport hub of Jiangxi Province.

The high-speed railways will greatly shorten the travel time from mountainous Fujian to the Yangtze River Delta, Zhang said.

The Fuzhou-Wenzhou line cuts the travel time from Fuzhou to the business hub of Shanghai from 11 hours to about five hours. The Fuzhou-Xiamen line shortens the travel time from several hours to one and half.

Fujian, on the western side of the Taiwan Strait, is an important destination for Taiwan residents when visiting the mainland. However, road traffic from Fujian to other provinces has been congested. The newly-built highways will help tackle this problem, Zhang said.

 

(2009-12-31 source:china.org.cn)