Ding Li, a researcher on regional economy competitiveness at the Guangdong Provincial Academy of Social Sciences said China’s new railway schedule and the operation of two new high-speed passenger lines will accelerate the economic growth and improve people’s living standards.
The researcher said high-speed railways and inter-city express services would bring more opportunities to less-developed regions, such as the central and northwestern parts of the country and rural areas.
The Ministry of Railways has launched a major overhaul of the rail schedule, the seventh since 1997, featuring faster trips and more seats.
The new schedule includes 89 new direct passenger trains raising passenger capacity by more than 10.6%.
The new lines will cut the travel time from Wuhan to the eastern metropolis of Shanghai by half to less than five hours. The journey between Taiyuan and Beijing would only take three hours, down by five hours.
Analysts said the two new lines would bring under-developed central region closer to developed eastern region and Beijing and facilitate economic cooperation among various parts of the country.
China’s first inter-city express railway, the Beijing-Tianjin line running at more than 300 km per hour, opened last August.
China Daily said the line has played an important role in accelerating economic integration between the two cities.
Work on the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway, which started a year ago, will be finished by 2012. The new line will halve travel time to about five hours.