XUZHOU, Jiangsu, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Workers began to lay tracks for a high-speed railway connecting Beijing and Shanghai on Monday, according to China's Ministry of Railways (MOR).
MOR held a ceremony in Xuzhou City, east China's Jiangsu Province, Monday to mark the event.
MOR said the laying of 1,318-km of railway track would be finished by the end of the year. The railway is scheduled to open in 2012,
The construction of the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway was started in April 2008. Total investment was estimated at 220.9 billion yuan (32.5 billion U.S. dollars).
The high-speed railway would cut travel time between Beijing, China's capital in the north, and Shanghai, the country's economic center in the east, to less than five hours, compared with the 10-hour journey by train between the two cities now.
By 2012, China would have a railway network of 110,000 km, 13,000 km of which would be high-speed rail, according to the MOR.