China’s high-speed rail reaches length of Equator

Part of the new Silk Road railway is expected to boost international co-operation between China and ASEAN

A new section of the high-speed railway connecting Beijing and Hong Kong opened on Thursday, extending China’s overall high-speed rail network the length of the equator, at around 40,000 kilometers.

The new railway linking Anqing in East China’s Anhui Province and Jiujiang in East China’s Jiangxi Province has a designed speed of 350 kilometers per hour. It snakes down through rivers, lakes, urban main roads and other railways, according to the railway builder China Tiesiju Civil Engineering Group.

The 176-kilometer rail link will shorten the current four-hour journey from Nanchang in Jiangxi to Hefei in Anhui to around two hours. It will boost the railway network between provinces in Central China and help to develop the Yangtze River Economic Belt, the company said.

“China has both land border and coast line, high-speed railway is able to connect multiple international ports with inland provinces, and further accelerate international co-operation between China and ASEAN member countries,” Sun Zhang, a mass transit expert and professor at Shanghai Tongji University, told the Global Times.

Experts say China’s efficient high-speed railway system will play an important role in the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership in the future.

The country is set to open an estimated seven additional high-speed rail links operating at 350 kilometers an hour in 2022, media report.

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