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July 19, 2010

Tracklaying begins on Beijing - Shanghai HSL

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A CEREMONY was held in Xuzhou, China, today to mark the start of tracklaying on the world's longest high-speed line. China's Ministry of Railways says all track on the 1318km line from Beijing to Shanghai will be completed as early as the end of this year.

The Yuan 220.9 billion ($US 32.5 billion) line is the largest investment project since the founding of the People's Republic in 1949. When it opens next year, it will reduce the journey time between China's political and financial capitals from 10 hours to less than five. The new line will also bring much-needed relief to the existing Beijing - Shanghai line, where passenger traffic density was more than five times the national average in 2007, and double the national average for freight.

China's railway network will reach 110,000km by 2012, of which 13,000km will be high-speed lines. A further 7000km of conventional lines and 3000km of high-speed lines are planned by 2020.

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