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High-speed railway boom to continue

16 January 2013
About 5,209km of new high-speed railways will be put into operation this year, 2,738km more than in 2012, according to a forecast by Switzerland-based global financial services provider UBS.

In 2012, about 250 standard sets of high-speed trains were delivered in China, and UBS projected that the Ministry of Railways would place new orders for 400 more trains this year. About 60 per cent of these trains will operate on 200kph lines, and the rest will run at 300kph.

Richard Wei, head of UBS Asia transport research, estimated that about 20,463km of high-speed railways will be in service by 2015, compared with 9,337 km at the end of 2012.

To fund this massive expansion and to service a debt of more than Rmb2,000bn, the Ministry of Railways must add new forms of financing or it will face a severe capital shortage, according to analysts.

A draft plan revealed that Rmb630bn will be spent on China’s railway construction in 2013.

     
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