China to invest $154bn to expand railway network in YRD region

China is reportedly set to invest around $154.88bn (RMB1trn) to expand the railway network in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region over the 14th five-year plan period (2021-25).

The move was reported by Reuters, citing local financial newspaper Shanghai Securities News.

According to the report, the investment will increase the region’s railway network by 4,200km to 17,000km.

High-speed network will increase by 3,500km to 9,500km, while the total rail transport network will grow to more than 22,000km by 2025.

The report added that the rail construction investment in YRD region may touch $11.64bn (RMB75bn) this year.

The YRD region refers to the major metropolitan area centred around Shanghai. It is one of the largest economic centres in China.

China aims to expand the network to around 200,000km by the end of 2035 to support urbanisation and boost local economies. The plan includes increasing the high-speed railway network to 70,000km.

Earlier this year, China introduced a high-speed maglev train that can operate at a top speed of 600km/h.

The new train, said to be the world’s fastest maglev transportation system, will cover the distance between South China’s Shenzhen to Shanghai in around 2.5 hours.

This high-speed vehicle can be configured in two to ten-car trains, with each car capable of accommodating more than 100 commuters.

As of 2020, China had around 141,400km of rail lines in the country, including 36,000km of high-speed lines.

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