These figures are included in report on railway development by China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

Mr Zhang Jiangyu, a transport specialist with NDRC, says 24,000km of new railway will be constructed during the next three years. Zhang predicts that work will start on the construction of 4500km of high-speed lines during the period.

Almost 4000km of new railway has opened this year, of which 2932km are high-speed lines. This culminated with the opening on December 26 of the 681km Beijing – Zhengzhou high-speed line, which is the final section of China's longest high-speed railway linking Beijing and Guangzhou, a total distance of 2297km. China now has 9300km of high-speed railway. A further 3000km of high-speed lines are due to open in 2013 along with 3300km of conventional railway.