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China Opens Railway Station Design Market
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China has decided to further open its railway station design market by offering over 200 new stations for public bidding.

The engineering design center under the Chinese Ministry of Railways held a briefing on Thursday in Beijing for nearly 90 domestic and overseas construction design companies.

According to the ministry, China will open up bidding for the design of over 200 railway stations along the 7,000 kilometers of new express railways to be built in China during the 11th five-year period between 2006 and 2010.

More than half of these new stations will be in middle-sized and large cities, said sources with the ministry.

China made its initial step toward opening the railway station design market in 2003 when the design project of Beijing's new south railway station was opened to the world.

The Chinese Ministry of Construction and the Ministry of Railways jointly announced to further open the railway construction market to non-railway-related companies, beginning this week.

Besides the design market for railway projects, both railway construction and project auditing markets will also be opened to domestic and overseas construction companies.

Industry insiders said China is facing a huge railway construction market in the years before 2020, during which the country's railway length will be extended from the current 74,000 kilometers to 100,000 kilometers.

An opening railway construction market in China will surely inject new life into China's large-scale strategy of railway development, experts said.

(Xinhua News Agency April 22, 2006)

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