China invested 809 billion yuan (132 billion U.S. dollars) in railway construction and put a record 8,427 km of new railways into operation in 2014, China Railway Corporation (CRC) announced on Thursday.
At the start of 2014, China set targets of investing 800 billion yuan in railway construction, putting 7,000 km of railways into operation and starting construction on 64 new rail projects.
“China has accelerated railway construction both in scale and intensity to fulfill its annual targets in 2014 and the construction drive will continue in 2015,” said Sheng Guangzu, CRC general manager, at an annual work meeting.
By 2014, six years after the launch of China’s first highspeed railways (HSR) passenger service, China boasts 16,000 km of highspeed railways among 112,000 km of railways, the world’s largest HSR network, CRC data showed.
It is estimated by the CRC that the HSR railways will expand to 18,000 km at the end of this year and a HSR network will be formed linking two adjacent cities within one to two hours by 2020.
China’s railways also witnessed the surge in passengers last year, carrying 2.32 billion passengers in 2014, up 12 percent year on year, according to the CRC.
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