China to accelerate railway investment

Beijing, Aug 17 (IANS) China has hastened efforts to build high speed rails as annual investment targets are still far from complete.

On Monday, China’s northernmost high-speed railway started operation in Heilongjiang Province. The trip from Harbin City, the provincial capital, to Qiqihar City was reduced from three hours to 85 minutes, reported Xinhua.

Last week, a railway linking Jinan City and Qingdao City in east China’s Shandong Province broke ground.

Authorities will raise 80 percent of the 60 billion yuan ($9.4 billion) investment, while all previous projects were primarily funded by the China Railway Corporation.

China has invested more than 265.1 billion yuan in domestic railway construction in the first half of 2015, up 12.7 percent. An additional 2,226 km of new rail lines were put into service.

At the start of the year, China set targets to invest more than 800 billion yuan in railway construction this year, creating 8,000 km of new track.

This means the country must spend more than 500 billion yuan on railways and service 5,000 km of new lines by the end of the year.

“The government is pushing ahead with railway development with great efforts. The construction will boom in the latter half of the year,” said Wang Mengshu, a railway expert with the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

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