China’s rapid rail to touch 50,000 km

Beijing, Sep 6 (IANS) China’s rapid rail network will stretch to over 50,000 km by 2020, a media report said on Sunday.

“China’s rail network, already the world’s longest with more than 17,000 km, will soon stretch considerably further,” said He Huawu, chief engineer of China Railway Corporation.

The network will serve 80 percent of the cities with populations topping half a million people by 2020, the Global Times reported.

The new rail lines will be installed in China’s west.

“We have accumulated rich experience in practice. With strong financial and technical support, it is possible for us to fulfill the task ahead of schedule,” said Wang Mengshu, a rail expert.

China has produced more than 3,000 high-speed trains with advanced world level operational efficiency, carrying approximately three million passengers daily.

Passengers using high-speed rail consume less than 8 kilowatt hours of electricity per 100 km, which is six times less than travelling by plane.

Wang said that most railway construction had focused on the country’s densely populated eastern and central region but western China was crucial as it served as a transportation hub linking Central Asia.

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