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Haikou-Sanya Railway to Be Built
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Construction will begin on a railway along the eastern coast of Hainan, the country's southernmost province, linking up the cities of Haikou and Sanya, later this year.

The Chinese Ministry of Railways and Hainan provincial government, the railway project's two investors, on Tuesday held its first meeting in Haikou, the provincial capital of Hainan, to discuss details of its construction.

According to the meeting, the rail link will have a total investment of 18.19 billion yuan (about US$2.24 billion) which will be equally shared by the Ministry of Railways and Hainan provincial government.

The entire railway will be 302.32 km long and will have 14 stops. It is scheduled to be finished in the third quarter of 2010, according to Yang Yunzhong, deputy engineer-in-chief of the No.2 Railways Prospecting and Designs Institute.

The railway will be able to transport 18 million passengers a year by 2020.

Traveling by the 300-km railway between the two cities will cut travel time to 80 minutes compared to three and a half hours by the freeway connecting Haikou and Sanya.

Experts said that linking the two cities by rail is of great significance in promoting tourism in the island province.

A scenic tropical city located in the southernmost of Hainan, Sanya attracts more than 3.6 million tourists every year. Haikou, the provincial capital located on the northern part of the island province, serves as the first stop for most travelers.

(Xinhua News Agency June 24, 2006)

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