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China ready for sixth overhaul of its rail system 2006-11-18 04:41:08

    BEIJING, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- China's rail system is ready for yet another speed boost that will see most trains on trunk lines traveling at 200 kilometers per hour, 40 kilometers faster than at present, starting from April 18, the Ministry of Railways said on Friday.

    "On sections of the countries busiest tracks including the Beijing-Harbin railway, the Beijing-Shanghai railway, the Beijing-Guangzhou railway and the Ji'nan-Qingdao railway, trains will run at 250 kilometers per hour," Hu Yadong, deputy minister of railways said at a press conference.

    This is the sixth time China has raised the speed of trains on existing tracks since 1997, when most of the trains were running at a mere 60 kilometers per hour.

    When the reform is complete, Chinese will have 6,003 kilometers of railway lines allowing trains to travel at 200 kilometers per hour, while on another 22,122 kilometers of tracks, the speed of trains will be raised to 120 kilometers per hour.

    The ministry estimates the move will boost the railway system's passenger handling capacity by 18 percent, and its cargo capacity by 12 percent.

    For example, the number of long-distance express trains will be increased from 19 to 26.

    There will also be 416 short-distance shuttle trains, including108 shuttle trains linking cities on the Yangtze River delta, 224 trains on the Zhujiang River delta and 62 trains linking cities around Beijing. More trains shall also be running on routes to Tibet.

    "This means the railway bottleneck will be further reduced," Hu said.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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