Beijing: China, which has the longest high-speed railway network in the world at over 19,000 km, plans to increase it to 30,000 km by 2020, a top official has said.
"By the end of 2015, the length of high-speed railway (HSR) lines in operation in China exceeded 19,000 km with nearly 10,000 km under construction, making the country top of the world in terms of length of high-speed railways both in operation and under construction," Vice General Engineer of the China Railway Corporation Zhao Guotang said.
"The operative mileage of HSR in China has taken 60 per cent of total amount in the world. During the decade from 2005-2015, the total mileage of HSR lines constructed in other parts of the world was no more than 4,500 km, so we can see most prosperous development of HSR lines is in China," he told visiting journalists from India and some ASEAN nations at the China Railways headquarters here.
He highlighted that the fast development of high-speed railways in China is changing the Chinese people's traveling habits.
At present, Zhao said, 4,000 electric multiple unit (EMU) trains are operated daily on China's HSR network, accounting for 63 per cent of the total passenger trains operated daily in the nation.
Based on the concept of "zero-distance transfer", high-speed railway stations are closely integrated with urban public transport systems or even airports through considerate and rational arrangement of stations and depots to develop modern passenger transport hubs and transfer centres where passengers can quickly transfer to subways, public buses or other vehicles, he said.
Asked what is the main advantage or strength of China's HSR, Zhao said, "I should say that outstanding strength is that we have abundant resources of 19,000 km which will be increased to 30,000 km in year 2020."
"Specifically speaking, in the construction and operation of this 19,000 km of HSR, we have accumulated advanced technologies and equipment, we have gained rich management experience, this is the most outstanding strength of China's HSR," he said.
"The second feature of our development is high quality. We have upgraded and improved our railway network. In terms of passenger transport, our operational speed runs first in the world," Zhao added.
At present, the backbone of China's high-speed railway network consists of "Four East-West Railways and Four North-South Railways" and high-speed railways have been weaved into a network covering China's three city clusters -- the Yangtze River Delta, the Pearl River Delta and the Pan-Bohai Region, facilitating passengers' travel, he said.