SHENYANG, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- A high speed railway linking two major cities in northeast China is expected to open in late 2011 as part of the nation's aggressive efforts to build a fast rail network across the country.
Engineers of the Harbin-Dalian high speed railway said Tuesday workers completed most of the infrastructure and laying tracks on the 904-km-long high speed railway after six months' efforts starting June 28.
Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang Province, and Dalian, a port city in Liaoning Province, are two industrial hubs in the country's rust belt.
"For next step, our work will shift to focus on tasks such as installing works for power supply, telecommunications, signaling, as well as constructing stops and related facilities, trying our best to get all things ready for a general testing on the whole railway," said the engineers.
It is expected the Harbin-Dalian high speed railway will be completed and begin service by the end of next year.
The railway, with a budget of 98 billion yuan (about 14.63 billion U.S. dollars) and the first of its kind to span China's northeast, is designed to allow trains to run at a maximum speed of 350 kilometers per hour.
Upon completion, the high speed railway will have a well defined division of passenger and cargo transport with the existing railroad between the two cities, so that an extra 50 to 60 million tonnes of cargo can be transported annually, according to the engineers.
China aims to build 13,000 kilometers of high speed railways by 2012. Travel time from Beijing to most provincial capital cities will be reduced to within eight hours by then, according to targets set by the Ministry of Railways.