China began building a railway linking China's two economic zones, the Xiamen Economic Zone in Fujian Province and Shenzhen Economic Zone in Guangdong Province.
The railway starts from Xiamen, a port city facing Taiwan, and runs 502.4 kilometers southwest along the coast to Shenzhen, a booming city bordering Hong Kong.
Upon its completion in 2011, the railway will allow trains to travel at a speed of 200 kilometers per hour, and a journey between the two cities will take about three hours compared with current 11 hours.
The rail link is designed to transport 12 million tons of cargo a year and accommodate 120 pairs of trains per day.
The 41.7-billion-yuan (5.6 billion U.S. dollars) project will be co-funded by the Ministry of Railways, and the Fujian and Guangdong provincial governments.
The new line will be another important section of China's coastal railway artery. Currently, two railway lines, one links Wenzhou of Zhejiang Province with Fuzhou, capital of Fujian, and the other links Fuzhou and Xiamen, are under construction.
Xiamen and Shenzhen are among the first four special economic zones designated by the state council in 1980.
(Xinhua News Agency January 6, 2008)