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China to Invest over $116 billion for New Railway Lines in 2017

17 February 2017 Friday, 18:00

While 2016 may have been yet another banner year for railway construction in China, Chinese officials are hoping to see an even more mind-boggling amount of track get laid this year.

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In 2017, China plans to begin work on a whopping 35 new railway projects, spending at least 800 billion RMB ($116 billion) on new lines in the process, People’s Daily reports.

This follows an 801.5 billion RMB investment last year that saw a new high-speed rail line stretch from Shanghai to Kunming (traveling 2,252 kilometers in just 10 hours and 36 minutes) and some new high-speed rail cars with fold-out beds and wifi.

It’s all part of China’s 4.7 trillion yuan spending plan to provide more reliable transport to some of the country’s more remote regions.
At the end of last year, China was criss-crossed by an astounding 124,000 kilometers of track including 22,000 kilometers of high-speed track. That latter number is projected to expand to 30,000 kilometers by 2020 and then grow to 45,000 km by 2030.

Of course, there’s almost nothing in the world that China loves more than a new train line. In the near future, the country is planning to build railways to Thailand and Tibet, along with Maglev trains that can top out at 600 km/h, making the trip between Shanghai and Beijing in just two hours.

In the more distant future, China would also be interested in a railway through the Himalayas, around the Pacific, or to Taiwan — though we aren’t sure which one of those is most likely to happen.

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