Construction of the long-awaited Pudong railway line, designed to help the city grow into an Asian shipping and aviation hub, will start within the year. It is to finish by 2005, according to Wenhui Daily, citing the director of local railway administration.
The outlying districts of Jinshan, Fengxian, Nanhui, Pudong New Area and Baoshan District will be linked by the 117-kilometer railway, the first of its kind on the east bank of the Huangpu River.
The cost will be shared by the Ministry of Railways and the city government. The total budget for the project is about 5 billion yuan (US$602.4 million).
Shentie Company, co-invested by the ministry and Shanghai Railway Administration, was created to oversee the construction, said Liu Lianqing, director of the railway administration.
The line is primarily aimed at lifting the city's transportation capacity and efficiency on the way to developing it into an international shipping and aviation center.
The railway line will focus on cargo transportation for the Yangshan Deep-water Port, which is still under construction, Pudong International Airport, Pudong Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone and other international logistics and industrial zones in the districts it joins up.
The railway is expected to start operation in 2005, when the first-phase construction of Yangshan Deep-water Port is completed, to meet the massive demand for cargo transportation, according to Liu.
He added authorities also plan to build two separate nonstop railways before 2010 to connect the city with Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, and Hangzhou, in Zhejiang Province.
(Shanghai Daily March 11, 2004)