In a long and detailed article MarketWatch
reports that China is finally building the integrated, strategically planned national network, proposed by its first great republican leader, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, a century ago.
The new plan announced in his annual report by Rail Minister Liu Zhijun, still following the basic ideas of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, is to have an overall passenger and freight rail network of 110,000 km by 2012, up from 86,000 now. This will grow to 120,000 km by 2020.
The current system is inadequate. Per capita, China has only 6 cm of rail per person. China’s leaders now recognize that a nationally directed rail network is the only transport system to deal with the immense numbers involved.
China’s high-speed passenger transport network will connect all provincial capitals and large cities with a population of over 500,000. The concept is to build an "8-hour transport circle," to bring every important city in China within eight hours’ travel time of Beijing, or, where distances are still too great, another big city.
Executive Intelligence Review
reports the high-speed rail grid will have eight trunk lines, four North-South and four East-West, and another 34 feeder lines. Travel times will be cut in half or more. The report on the internet is long and well worth reading. It is a thriller. The story of the biggest nation on earth smashing through the transport barrier.