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China to Invest US$20 Bln in Railways in Zhejiang
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China plans to invest at least 160 billion yuan (US$20 billion) in building railways in eastern Zhejiang Province in the coming five years, provincial officials report.


Economic powerhouse Zhejiang reached a deal last month with the Ministry of Railways to share the investment of between 160 billion yuan and 180 billion yuan (US$22.5 million), according to the officials with the development and reform commission and the government of the province.


"Zhejiang aims to have a modern railway network in five years, which enables a passenger to travel from the capital Hangzhou to any other city in the province within three hours," an official said.


Zhejiang plans to build 800 km and renovate 500 km of railways by 2010, the official said.


The Ningbo-Hangzhou-Nanjing line will start construction this year and will allow speeds of 250-300 km per hour, while the high-speed line from Hangzhou to Shanghai is under preparation.


There are 10 trunk and extension lines in the province, with a total mileage of 1,212 km. Every one million people in Zhejiang have 26.7 km of railways, less than half of the national average.


(Xinhua News Agency February 17, 2006)


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