China Railways plans surge of projects
By Catrin Jones30 September 2022
China is accelerating approvals for railway projects across the country to drive the growth of the economy post-pandemic, says news source Yacai.
China State Railway held a meeting earlier this month and made the decision that rail projects currently under construction will be sped up and that they will begin feasibility studies for new ones.
The Ankang–Chongqing section of the 653km Chongqing–Xi’an railway in the west of the country will begin work in the next three months. Construction on the line began in June last year, and the latest section is said to have been approved by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment on 8 September.
Other projects that will start in the next few months include the North Yangtze link between Shanghai and neighbouring Jiangsu and Anhui provinces and the Chengdu–Dazhou–Wanzhou railway connecting southwestern Sichuan province with Chongqing in central China.
Figures from the National Railway Administration state that capital investment in China’s rail sector fell 4.2% to US$107 billion in 2021, an eight-year low. Between January and August of this year, year-on-year spending fell a further 4.4%.
China has, by far, the world’s largest network of high-speed railways at an estimated 38,000 kilometers (23,500 miles).