China Railway investment rises in Q1

Beijing – Investment in railway infrastructure in the first quarter rose more than one-fourth on the same period last year, a source at the new China Railway Corp. said.

Some 54.5 billion yuan was invested in new lines in the first quarter, the source said, up 28 percent compared to the same period in 2012. Some 29.4 billion yuan was spent in March.

The former Ministry of Railways said in January it planned to spend 650 billion yuan on the railway system this year, 520 billion yuan of that on infrastructure.

In March, the National People’s Congress, the country’s top legislature, said the Ministry of Railways would be split in two. The China Railway Corp. handles passenger and freight transport, and is in charge of drafting investment and construction plans.

The State Railway Administration was placed under the Ministry of Transport to handle administrative matters.

China Business News, a financial newspaper, reported that the State Council released a notice recently that said the State Railway Administration would have 130 employees. Another seven subordinate supervisory administrations, with total 350 employees, will be established to monitor regional railways.

The source at China Railway Corp. said Lu Dongfu, former vice minister of the Ministry of Railways, will head of the State Railway Administration.

The Ministry of Railways website went shut on March 20. A site for China Railway Corp. has not opened.