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Guangzhou-Zhuhai Railway Drops Maglev

The proposed Guangzhou-Zhuhai high-speed railway will not use the expensive Maglev technology, the Yangcheng Evening News reported Monday.

The Maglev technology, which had been widely discussed, will cost 320 million yuan (US$38 million) per kilometer, while the traditional railway technology will cost only 150 to 170 million yuan per kilometer.

The decision would save 15 billion yuan (US$1.8 billion) for the Guangzhou-Zhuhai railway, the report said.

Work on the railway is expected to start later this year.

The speed of Maglev trains ranges from 200 to 500 kilometers per hour, while traditional trains travel at speeds up to 200 kilometers per hour.

The terrain in the Pearl River Delta was also not suitable for a Maglev system, experts from the provincial railways department said.

The railway is scheduled to be finished by 2007. It is then expected to take only 38 minutes to reach Zhuhai from Guangzhou.

The trains will be the fastest in the nation.

The 105-kilometer railway, to cost 18.2 billion yuan (US$2.19 billion), will be funded by China's Railways Ministry and Guangdong Province.

After the Guangzhou-Zhuhai railway is completed, high-speed railways connecting Guangzhou and Shenzhen, Zhongshan and Jiangmen, and Xiaolan and Humen will be completed by 2010.

By 2020, a high-speed railway network with a total length of more than 600 kilometers will be completed.

By then, the Pearl River Delta would have become the most effective transportation hub in the nation, reaching the level of Paris, France, the report said.

(Shenzhen Daily March 2, 2004)

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