40 years on
China has the world’s second-largest railway network, with more than 127,000 kilometers of track in service as of last year.
Railway construction has developed rapidly across the country in recent decades.
In 1994, construction started on a railway linking Beijing to Kowloon in Hong Kong. One of the greatest railway journeys of the 20th century, it stretches more than 2,500 km.
The item from China Daily (right) showed passengers on board the first direct express train linking Beijing and Kowloon bidding farewell as the train pulled away from Beijing West Railway Station on May 18, 1997.
The train runs to Beijing and Hong Kong every other day. Total journey time is about 23 hours.
The Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, a highspeed line spanning 142 km, started trial operations last week.
Traveling from Hong Kong to Guangzhou, Guangdong province, takes about one hour.
The line connects to China’s 25,000-km long highspeed rail network — the longest in the world.
The network is expected to expand to 38,000 km by 2025, according to China Railway Corp.
Last year, more than 3 billion passenger trips were made on railways, up 9.6 percent year-on-year.