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At the end of 2006, railways in operation reached 77,000 km, including 24,000 km of electrified railways, the scale of China's electrified railway being second only to that of Russia and Germany. In 2007, China will lay 2,099 km of single track, and 2,347 km of dual track, and 2,019 km of electrified railways will go into operation. According to the Mid- and Long-Term Railway Network Program approved by the State Council, China's railways in operation will reach 100,000 km by 2020. On a global basis, China's rail transport volume is one of the world's largest, carrying 25 percent of the world's total railway workload with only six percent of the world's operating railways. China also leads in terms of the growth rate of transport volume and in the efficient use of transport equipment.
China's most advanced light rail locomotive running successfully at CNR Changchun Railway Vehicles Company, December 18, 2006
On April 18, 2007, train speed has been raised significantly for the sixth time since 1997, across some 22,000 km of track. The top speed of express trains has increased from 120 kmph to 200 kmph, and passenger trains can reach a maximum speed of 250 kmph on some sections of trunk railways.
The world's highest railway, the Qingzang Railway, running between Golmud in Qinghai and Lhasa in Tibet, went into trial operation on July 1, 2006, overcoming the difficulties of "long years of permafrost, high-altitude cold, oxygen deficiency and fragile habitat."
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