40 years on

China Daily - - PAGE TWO - Ed­i­tor’s Note: This year marks the 40th an­niver­sary of China’s re­form and open­ing-up pol­icy.

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.

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