Passengers would be able to travel between Beijing and most capital cities in China in eight hours by 2012, through a nationwide express railway network, according to the Ministry of Railways.
As about 10,000 km of passenger railways are currently under construction, a total of 13,000 km of passenger railways and intercity railways will be put into operation in 2012.
The network would consist of four north-south and four west-east lines of railways throughout the country, which would connect most capital cities and major cities in China, including Shanghai, Guangzhou, Taiyuan and Nanjing.
The railway circuit could largely save passengers' travel time. Departing from Beijing, passengers could reach Tianjin within one hour and southern China' s Guangzhou in seven hours by 2012.
China planned to invest at least 700 billion yuan (102.49 billion U.S. dollars) per year in railway construction over the next three years, said Vice Railway Minister Wang Zhiguo Monday.
By the end of this year, China would have a total of 86,000 km rail lines, second only to the United States, Wang said.
(Xinhua News Agency August 17, 2009)