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Shanghai adds two more lines to urban rail network plan
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Shanghai has unveiled further plans for the city's urban rail system with another two lines by 2012 as part of a 200-billion-yuan (US$26.9 billion) expansion of the urban railway system.

City transport chiefs hope the new lines, which would bring the total lines to 13, allowing the system to carry 8 million people a day, up from the current 3 million.

The first line would run 33.6 kilometers from Hongmei Street, in the city center, to Pudong New Area, with 26 stops, said Ying Minghong, deputy director of Shanghai rail traffic construction headquarters.

The second would run 13 kilometers from Shanghai Railway Station to the Jiading residential area, with nine stops, Ying said.

The two lines would bring urban rail system to a total length of 500 kilometers by 2012 with more than 300 stations.

Together with the construction and renovation of the other 11 urban railways, the city is expected to invest a total of 200 billion yuan in the system.

About 90 billion yuan would come from municipal and local governments and the rest would be provided in loans by 11 bank consortiums, said Ying.

An additional 2.5 billion yuan will be provided in loans from China Life Insurance Company.

The city already operated four lines with a total length of 95 kilometers, Ying said. Seven new lines are expected to open by 2010.

Four of the new routes would pass the 2010 Shanghai World Expo site and were expected to carry about half of the Expo visitors, Ying said.

The Expo, the first to be held in a developing country in the event's 156-year history, is expected to draw 70 million visitors, an average of 400,000 a day. More than 170 countries and international organizations have confirmed participation so far.

"When all the tracks are completed, 45 percent of Shanghai's public transport commuters will choose to travel by rail compared with the current 15 percent," said Ying.

The average distance between most urban communities and the nearest railway, or subway, station would be reduced to 900 meters, compared with the current 1,800 meters, he said.

In Shanghai, where land is scarce, the massive construction project would involve the demolition of 700,000 square meters of residential housing and the relocation of 12,500 households in 14 districts, he said.

Meanwhile, about 1,300 companies and institutions would make way for the project with the demolition of 1.1 million square meters of offices.

"The relocation costs, including compensation to the resettled homeowners and businesses and the demolition charges, will make up 20 percent of the total investment, or about 40 billion yuan," said Zhu Husheng, vice president of Shanghai Shentong Metro Co, Ltd.

(Xinhua News Agency November 15, 2007)

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