According to its Mid-term and Long-term Railway Network Scheme, China plans to extend its railway length to 100,000 kilometers by 2020 and realize the separation of passenger railway from freight railway on main busy lines, with the proportions of double-track lines and electrified lines both up to 50%, the transportation capacity meeting the need of economic and social development, and main technical equipments reaching or approaching advanced international standards..
By the year 2020, the total length of railways in China will be increased by 27,000km compared with the year 2003, forming a railway network going from north to south and from east to west, covering most cities with a population over 200,000, places with staple resources, major harbors and important ports. Double-track railways and electric lines will both reach a total length of 50,000km, respectively an increase of 25,000km and 31,000km compared with the year 2003.
A high-speed passenger transport network shall be established with Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Chengdu and Xi’an as the central hubs, with the passenger railways as the framework composed of railway lines of JingHu, JingGuang, JingHa, HangYongShen, LongHai, ZheGan, QingTai and HuHanRong, and with high-speed passenger-freight railways as the connection lines, the total length of the network amounting to 30,000km. “Leave in the morning and come back home in the evening” will be realized for trains running on main trunk lines between cities at a distance of about 1000km, “Leave in the morning and arrive in the evening” for cities at a distance of about 2000km, and “Arrive in one day” for cities at about 4000km.
For freight transport, a heavy-load coal transport railway network shall be established to provide services with emphasis on the ten major coal bases for outward transportation of coal resources, which include Datong (including western Inner Mongolia), Shenfu, Taiyuan (including southern Shanxi), Southeastern Shanxi, Shan’xi, Guizhou, Henan, Yanzou, LiangHuai(Huainan and Huaibei), and Eastern Heilongjing, with an annual transport capacity of 1.8 billion tons, meeting the requirement for coal transportation. In addition, a high-speed container transport network shall be established with the double-layered container transport passageways as the framework, linking 18 container terminals, which radiate to cover all container freight stations, realizing convenient, timely and safe transportation of containers.
It is estimated that an investment of about 2 trillion yuan is needed to execute the Scheme. This vast sum of railway construction cost makes it necessary to accelerate the reform of the railway investment and financing system, which presently mainly relies on funds from the central government and domestic bank loans, mobilizing active participations of different parties of the society in railway construction projects, thus achieving multiplicity of investment subjects and financing sources so as to ensure the capital needs for speeding up the construction of the railway network.
The following four aspects constitute this grand blueprint:
- Construction of Passenger-dedicated Lines
The Scheme includes four north-south and four east-west passenger-dedicated lines (PDL) with relatively high technological standards, and an inter-city high-speed passenger transport network with emphasis laid on the Bohai Bay Rim Region, the Yangtze River Delta Region and Pear River Delta Region. On completion of this Scheme, a fast passenger railway network totaling more than 12,000 km shall be established, with the target speed of the trains exceeding 200 km per hour. According to the Scheme, there should be appropriate connections between passenger-dedicated lines, inter-city passenger railways and light-rail city transit systems in order to provide conveni