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Ministry of Railways Approves Increased Speed on Major Routes
After upgrades of rail lines along some of China's most popular train routes, the Ministry of Railways has announced trains on those routes will begin traveling at faster speeds beginning in October.

This is China's fourth increase in train speed limitations and the second in a year. The ministry approved a nationwide speed-up last October, Thursday's China Daily reports.

Five routes liking major cities in southwest, central and south China, with a total length of 6,713 kilometers, would be the pioneers in this most recent acceleration.

The ministry said 1,705 kilometers, or 25 percent, of the railroad tracks on those routes have been renovated and can now handle train speeds of 140 kilometers per hour. An additional 447 kilometers of track are fit for speeds between 120 and 140 kilometers an hour.

Liu Zhijun, vice-minister of railways, predicted that a total of roughly 14,000 kilometers of rail tracks will be built or renovated to allow for higher speeds in the 10th Five-Year Plan period (2001 to 2005). Rides between major cities within 1,500 kilometers of one another will take less than 15 hours and rides between cities 2,000 to 2,500 kilometers apart will be covered within 24 hours.

(Xinhua 07/05/2001)

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