Railways key priority for infra investment

2024-01-16 10:01:04China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China will continue to see investments in railways increase this year amid the nation's pursuit of high-quality development in various sectors, said officials and experts.

The nation will continue to enhance efforts to drive transformation and upgrading of the railway sector through continuous innovation in key areas, including railway engineering construction, equipment manufacturing, safety improvements and enhanced operational management, Minister of Transport Li Xiaopeng said during a recent meeting in Beijing.

With reinforcing the integration of comprehensive transportation channels, hubs and networks across regions being a work priority this year, China will further expand effective investments in the railway sector with prudent approaches to advance railway infrastructure investments and innovative financing mechanisms, Li said during the annual meeting of China State Railway Group, or China Railway.

Motions were proposed during the meeting to ensure smooth and unimpeded transportation and logistics, coupled with cost reductions and quality enhancement.

Infrastructure investment this year is likely to see a significant rise compared to previous years, as the newly issued 1 trillion yuan ($139 billion) treasury bonds covering the sector will attract inflows of social capital, Lian Ping, chief economist at Zhixin Investment and head of the Zhixin Investment Research Institute, said at a forum in Shanghai on Saturday.

While propelling the railway sector's high-quality development push this year, safe operations will remain the bottom line that the railway operator should "resolutely hold to always", the transport minister said.

High-speed railway construction, which is key to China seeking high-quality development, gained more traction last year, with the total HSR network extending to 45,000 kilometers by the end of last year, increasing the nation's overall railway system to 159,000 km, said China Railway, the national railway operator.

Last year, a total of 3,637 km of railways were added nationwide, with 2,776 km being HSR. State railway builders are seen further gearing up on HSR construction going forward.

For instance, China Railway 24th Bureau Group Corp, a unit of the centrally administered China Railway Construction Corp, said its builders on the Hefei-Xinyi High-speed Railway achieved major construction progress as they completed precision alignment work on the Dingyuan No 2 railway bridge on schedule, laying a solid foundation for further work.

The alignment work is a key milestone in the building of the bridge, which is being constructed above the operating G329 national highway, CR24 said.

Upon completion, the 324-km Hefei-Xinyi line will run from Hefei, capital of Anhui province, and pass through the counties of Dingyuan, Fengyang, Mingguang, Wuhe and Sixian before entering Jiangsu province and terminating in Xinyi.

The work aims to help spur the coordinated economic development of regions along the railway line, serving the high-quality development of the Yangtze River Delta integration.


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