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China to Raise Railway Speed on April 18
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Trains in China will run faster starting from April 18 as the country's railway authority is preparing for the sixth nationwide train speed acceleration plan, Xinhua News Agency reported on Thursday.


By then, the total mileage of high speed railways, which means trains traveling at speeds higher than 200 kilometers per hour, will reach 6,003 kilometers. China currently has 75,000 kilometers of railway in total.


High speed trains will become popular in inter-city rail transit, which may cause an 18 percent surge in passenger transport capacity as well as a 12 percent increase in cargo.


During the last phase of preparations, railway authorities will check and examine the construction of infrastructure and improve train working schedules to optimize transport capabilities. They will also control the manufacturing of new trains to ensure that they will be put into use on time.


China has implemented train speed accelerations five times since 1991, and is able to run as fast as its counterparts in developed countries, said a railway ministry official who is in charge of the upgrade.


After the fifth speed acceleration plan last October, passenger trains on truck lines linking areas like Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong together with major western and southeastern destinations were able to run as fast as 200 kilometers per hour, up from the previous 160 kph on the Shanghai-Beijing route.


(Shanghai Daily January 8, 2007)


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