Chinese rail sector investments up +37.5% in 2008

By Richard High09 September 2008

Investment in China's railway sector hit CNY 133.78 billion (US$ 19.6 billion) in the first seven months of this year, according to the latest figures from the country's Ministry of Railways (MOR).

This represents a +37.5% year-on-year rise in investment, with the construction of several high-speed lines and the government's efforts to link the poorer regions of the country to the main network at the heart of its investment strategy.

One of the largest projects currently under construction is the 1318 km-long Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway. The CNY 221 billion (US$ 32.3 billion) project will see trains travel at 350 km/hour.

The MOR plans to extend the railway network by 17000 km and invest CNY 1.25 trillion (US$ 182.6 billion) in railway construction and renovation through 2010.

Freight and passenger numbers were also up during the period. The network carried 855.3 million passengers, up +12.6% from the same period last year, while 1.94 billion tonnes of freight was also transported on the system, up +6.8% from a 2007.

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