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  • Gordon Dumoulin

Backbone of a connected China

While the Chinese high speed train development has been more than amazing in recent 2 decades, a true backbone of integration has been the ‘normal’ ‘green’ railway network development since the establishment of the People’s Republic of #China in 1949.

The PRC invested heavily in railway right away. In 1952 between #Chengdu and #Chongqing (500km), followed by a.o. 1,900 km from Lanzhou to the far West Urumqi in #Xinjiang (1962), 700km North-South from Baoji to Chengdu through the Qin Mountains (1961) and 1,100 km South-West from Chengdu to #Kunming (1970). 2,000km from #Qinghai to Lhasa #Tibet opened in 2006 with world’s highest train station at 5,068m.

The 2020 track network was 146,000km (38,000 km high speed) and 2019 saw 3.66 billion passenger trips (1,470.66 billion passenger-kilometers).

New expansion of 95,000km by 2035 is scheduled, connecting all 200,000 inhabitant cities to the 'normal' rail, and 500,000 inhabitant cities to high-speed. 95% of cities over 1 million are already connected by high-speed.

While you can get to #Shanghai from #Beijing (1,300-1,400km) high speed in 4-6 hours for US$80-90, you also have the US$25 hard seat or US$50 hard sleeper options, hopping on the 14-20 hours night train.

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