China is on track to complete the expansion of its high-speed rail network ahead of schedule.
The state-run China Daily reports that, following the launch of four new high-speed railway lines in 2016, only two sections of the country’s north-south and east-west grids have not yet opened – the lines between Jinan and Shijiazhuang and between Baoji and Lanzhou. These are both expected to launch before 2020 – the deadline for the nationwide high-speed rail development project set in 2008.
By the end of this decade, China expects to have 30,000km of high-speed railway lines, accounting for 20% of the country’s overall railway network.
But the development will not stop at 2020; in the subsequent decade, China expects to extend its bullet train network by a further 50%, adding another 15,000km of track by 2030. By this time, high-speed rail lines will comprise 22.5% of the overall network.
Last year, more than 1.4 billion trips were made on China’s bullet trains, accounting for more than half of total passenger traffic.
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