Beijing, June 24 (ANI): As part of its ambitious plan, the Chinese Railway Ministry is planning to spread thirty-five high-speed rail lines measuring 11,000 kilometres throughout the country.
China Daily quoted Zheng Jian, chief planner with railway ministry, as saying that around 13,000 kilometres of high-speed railways, capable of handling trains travelling at more than 200 kilometres/hour, could be completed and put into service by 2012.
The construction of an additional 5,000-kilometres of high-speed railways will begin soon.
At least five railway routes will be able to accommodate trains traveling at speeds of 350 kilometres/hour, Zheng said.
The five lines include three north-south routes: Beijing-Shanghai; Beijing-Guangzhou (Hong Kong); and Beijing-Harbin (Dalian).
The two east-west high-speed lines are Xuzhou-Lanzhou and Shanghai-Kunming.
The five lines along with three other lines with a designed speed of between 200 and 350 kilometres/hour, will become the trunk lines of China's future high-speed passenger rail network.
So far, China has built 185 kilometres of rail track, including the country's first such rail link, between Beijing and Tianjin, which opened last August.
The Beijing-Shanghai rail line may end up being the fastest - the ministry said in a news release that the trip will take four hours, which means trains will likely exceed 350 kilometres/hour.
The high-speed passenger train network will end up extending to all cities with a population of more than 200,000.
Yang Hao, a professor at Beijing Jiaotong University, said China has a population that is six times that of the United States, but only has one-50th of the US' airports. (ANI)