बीजिंग Beijing: The high-speed rail network in China is the largest in the world, with a total operating mileage exceeding 11,000 kilometers, just shy of the rest of the world’s countries, which have 12,570 km combined. China has seen tremendous growth in the development in its high-speed rail system in 2014, with several projects commencing operations, including a Guiyang-Guangzhou High-speed Rail, which is expected to go from terminal to terminal in only four hours and 52 minutes. Before 2007, there wasn’t even one high-speed railway in the country, but in under 10 years, China’s transportation network has been transformed.
Unlike other countries, China is the world’s only largest nation in the world with high-speed rail networks crossing the length and width of the country, with each line using at least 1,000 km of track, said Sheng Guangzu, General Manager of China Railway Corp. These lines have helped boost regional economies, and changed the lives of the more than 100 million residents who live near them.
China has now proposed to build a national high-speed rail grid composed of four north-south corridors and four east-west corridors, with average hourly speeds of 200 kilometers, according to its State Council’s “Mid-to-Long Term Railway Network Plan.”
Yet even though it is currently the world’s leader in terms of both total operating mileage and mileage under construction, China’s high-speed rail system still lags behind actual demand, especially in terms of passenger train service, said Shuai Bin, Vice President of School of Traffic and Logistics at Southwest Jiaotong University.