14 Jun 2011

New railway announced

11:51 am on 14 June 2011

China is to this month launch a high-speed railway between the country's two most important cities.

Costing 220.9 billion yuan ($US34.1 billion), the 1318km Beijing - Shanghai line marks the beginning of a massive effort to transform China's rail network.

Spending will amount to 2.8 trillion yuan ($US431.7 billion) between 2011 - 2015.

Railways Vice Minister of Hu Yadong said on Monday that ''we will not slow the pace and there will be no cut in investments.''

The 2.8 trillion yuan fund is an increase of 41.4% over the previous five-year spending plan which finished in 2010. China's railway investments amounted to 707.5 billion yuan in 2010, up 17.8% from 2009.

Passengers will be carried between Beijing and Shanghai at 300km per hour, cutting travel time nearly in half to less than five hours.

One-way economy class tickets will cost 555 yuan ($US86), slightly cheaper than a discounted air ticket between the two cities.