At a national railways work conference in Beijing, Railways Minister Liu Zhijun forecast that in 2010 the larger rail network would carry 3.5 billion tons of freight, up 5.4% year on year. It will also carry a record 1.64 billion passenger journeys in 2010, up 120 million or 7.6% from last year.
In 2009, a total of 1.52 billion journeys were made, and 3.32 billion tons of freight were transported, both breaking records.
China’s railways in operation reached 86,000 kilometers (km) in length by the end of 2009, second only to the United States.
Railway investments in 2009 alone were more than the total amount from 1995 to 2005, hitting $88 billion, up 79% year on year, according to the MOR.
Liu said, "Another 33,000 kilometers of railways are now under construction."
China View said that the country’s vast rail system is also vulnerable to natural mishaps. The worst snow in five decades hit central and southern China in mid-January 2008, causing rail disruptions and stranding tens of thousands of people.