Boost for Chinese railways
By Becca Wilkins11 August 2009
At least CNY 700 billion (US$ 102.4 billion) per year will be pumped into Chinese railway construction over the next three years the vice minister of railways, Wang Zhiguo announced this week.
According to local media Mr Wang said in the first seven months of this year China invested CNY 247.49 billion (US$ 36 billion) in railway construction, up +136% year on year.
He added the planned railway investment for 2009 is CNY 600 billion (US$ 87 billion).
The ministry will seek approval of a further 20000 km of rail construction, requiring total investment of more than CNY 2 trillion (US$ 292 billion), by the end of next year.
According to Mr Wang, China will have a total of 86000 km of railway lines by the end of this year - second only to the US - and it is aiming to expand the network to 110000 km by 2012.
The investment in the railway network is part of the CNY 4 trillion (US$ 584 billion) economic stimulus package announced in China last year. A large portion of the funds are dedicated to infrastructure projects such as roads and railways.