In­ter­city rail­way net­work gets the green light

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By DU­JUAN du­juan@chi­

China’s top eco­nomic plan­ner has green­lighted a pro­posed in­ter­city rail­way net­work link­ing Bei­jing, Tian­jin and neigh­bor­ing Hebei prov­ince, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment pub­lished on its web­site onMon­day.

The blue­print, which tar­gets 2020 as its ini­tial phase, con­sists of nine rail­way lines with a to­tal length of 1,100 kilo­me­ters, ac­cord­ing to the state­ment by the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion, which es­ti­mated to­tal in­vest­ment of 247 bil­lion yuan ($36 bil­lion).

The net­work is a ma­jor in­fra­struc­ture project of the Bei­jing-Tian­jin-Hebei in­te­grated de­vel­op­ment plan.

The three ma­jor lines will con­nect Bei­jing, Tian­jin and Hebei’s cap­i­tal Shi­ji­azhuang. With high-speed trains mov­ing at up to 350 km per hour, trav­el­ing time among the ma­jor cities will be cut to less than an hour.

The Out­line of Col­lab­o­ra­tive De­vel­op­ment of Bei­jing, Tian­jin and Hebei prov­ince, which was passed last year, pro­posed mov­ing some of the Bei­jing’s non­cap­i­tal func­tions — such as re­gional whole­sale cloth­ing mar­kets— to neigh­bor­ing ar­eas, as well as im­prov­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and trans­porta­tion.

Ex­perts said they see the ap­proval of the net­work as an op­por­tu­nity for de­vel­op­ment of lo­cal trans­portan­dreal es­tate.

“The net­work will im­prove trans­porta­tion sys­tems in the area and make life more con­ve­nient for res­i­dents,” said Yan Yue­jin, se­nior an­a­lyst at E-house China Re­search and De­vel­op­ment In­sti­tute. “It will also see more real es­tate in­vest­ment move to the out­skirts of the city, cre­at­ing a more bal­anced dis­tri­bu­tion of hous­ing re­sources.”

The prepara­tory work of cer­tain lines, such as the Bei­jing-Tang­shan rail­way, has al­ready started, ac­cord­ing to Xin­hua News Agency.

Long-term plans sug­gest that about a dozen more in­ter­city lines will be built in the Bei­jing-Tian­jin-Hebei area.

“By 2030, a skele­ton net­work of in­ter­city rail­ways will be es­tab­lished, con­sist­ing of four ver­ti­cal lines, four hor­i­zon­tal lines and a ring,” the state­ment said.

Con­struc­tion of hub sta­tions will also en­sure that the trans­fer time among dif­fer­ent means of trans­porta­tion will be cut to less than 10 min­utes.

HEBEI Baodi TIAN­JIN Shi­ji­azhuang Tang­shan

Liang Shuang con­trib­uted to this story.

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