Centennial dream of China's railways development comes ture
              English.news.cn | 2011-09-22 10:43:27 | Editor: An

File photo taken on May 8, 2009 shows a passenger train passes through 109 tunnel of the Baoji-Chengdu Railway in northwest China's Shaanxi Province. In the corridor of the second floor of Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Former Residence in Shanghai, a color printed "Railway Map of China" is presented inconspicuously. The red real lines on the map were railway layout established by Sun himself, who was the great revolutionary forerunner leading the Xinhai Revolution of 1911 in China. He made a detailed design to provide the country with a comprehensive and unified system of national railways which was magnificent and farsighted. Railways have a history with more than 130 years in China. From the year of 1876, English traders built the Shanghai-Wusong Railway, about 15 kilometers in length, to the year of 1949, there were about 21,800 kilometers railways in China. Because of wars, only 11,000-kilometer-long lines can be used. After the founding of the People's Republic of China, through rushing to repair, those railways had been open to traffic by the end of 1950. In the following several decades, Chinese railway construction has made great progress. In 1952, a railway line between Chengdu and Chongqing, two important cities in southwest China, was completed. It's the first railway line to be built in the history of the People's Republic of China. The Chengdu-Kunming Railway, meandering through the mountainous area in the southwest of Sichuan Province and north of Yunnan Province, started to operation in 1970. The total length of railway lines in China had increased to 48,600 kilometers until 1978. The policy of reform and opening-up sped up the modernization of Chinese railway systems. In the autumn of 1996, the Beijing-Kowloon Railway Line went into full operation. The 2,553-km railway line is the longest in one-time length, running through 9 provinces and municipalities in the inland area before connecting with the railway line in south China's Hong Kong. It's considered of strategic importance because of its role in alleviating the pressure of north-south railway traffic, in improving the national railway layout, in promoting the economic development of the regions along the line. In July 2006, China made history by sending the first pair of passenger trains to the "roof of the world" along a miracle rail link, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, which stretches from Xining, capital of Qinghai Province, to Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. The centennial dream of Dr. Sun Yat-sen to build a plateau railway was realized. Since it opened 5 years ago, the railway line has transported more than 41 million passengers and 180 million tonnes of cargo in total and stood safety and environmental tests while boosting regional economic growth. In recent years, China's high-speed rail network has been developing rapidly. The Beijing-Shanghai High-speed Railway, the longest in the world, the Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Railway, the country's first inter-city express line, and the Wuhan-Guangzhou High-speed Railway were put into service one after the other, marking a new era of high-speed rail development in China. Railways, once bearing Sun's dream to establish a wealthy and strong country, play a significant role on China's economy development and the improvement of people's livelihood nowadays. (Xinhua/Tang Zhenjiang)

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