China’s High-Speed Rail Network: Unstoppable Growth

CHINA’s railway network now exceeds 150,000km following the opening of several new lines at the end of 2021, including various high-speed lines, taking the length of the high-speed network to more than 40,000km. Two-thirds of the total high speed rail network in the entire world is in China.

Photo: SCIO

According to China Railway (CR), China spent Yuan 748.9bn ($US 117.43bn) on investment in railway fixed assets in 2021, putting 4208km of new lines into operation, of which 2168km were high-speed lines. CR carried 1.37 billion passengers during the year.  

China’s State Council released on 19 January 2022 the plan for rail development in the 14th Five-Year Plan (2022-2025).

According to Chinese official media reports, in that period the Chinese government intends to increase the high-speed rail line by one third, from the present 38,000 kilometers to 50,000 kilometers, by 2025, connecting 95% of the cities with a population of 500,000 or more with a high-speed rail system. In turn, the operating mileage of total railways will also increase from 146,000 kilometers to 165,000 kilometers.

The new plan also calls for developing railway double-decker container transportation in an orderly manner, exploring the launch of customized direct railway freight trains, and making full use of excess transportation capacity and facilities to develop railway express freight products such as high-speed rail express, thereby significantly increasing the turnover of goods in the market, particularly in high-value goods.

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Sources:

Xinhua, 2022-01-18. https://english.news.cn/20220118/809c669bb8134e15b90573cc369413ea/c.html

The B1M, 31 Mar 2021. The Unstoppable Growth of China’s High-Speed Rail Network

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