Please Note: Blog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors. The Overall Length of China's Rail Transit will exceed 3,400 Kilometers in 2015 - The history of China’s rail transit started in 1908. After the first tram was built in Shanghai, trams appeared in Dalian, Beijing, Tianjin, Shenyang, Harbin, Changchun, etc. Trams played a significant role in the urban transportation at that time. However, trams died out in all cities except Dalian and Changchun by the end of 1950s.



The subway of Line 1 which came into use in Beijing on October 1st, 1969 was the first modern rail transit system in China and was a landmark of subway history. Up to now, rail transit system has been established and put into operation in 11 cities in China, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Changchun, Dalian, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Nanjing and so on. The total length has amounted to more than 600 kilometers. In addition, another 12 cities in China are establishing rail transit system and the total length under construction will reach over 800 kilometers.


At present, rail transit system in China mainly includes subway, light rail and suburban railway. Generally, the operating capacity of rail transit is 2.5 times to 14 times of the capacity of bus and the speed of light rail and subway is 2 times to 4 times of the speed of bus.


As China’s economy develops rapidly, the urban scale and resident number are both on the rise. Therefore, the rail transit characterized with safety, speed, no barrier and less pollution has become a significant instrument to ease the heavy traffic in China. Currently, the construction of rail transit in China has been in a period of prosperity and China, therefore, has become the largest rail transit market all over the world.


The rail transit not only makes life more convenient, but also affects and changes people’s life style. With rail transit, passengers can transform the distance precisely into time. In addition, people who live in suburban areas are able to save more time on the way to company in urban areas.


China’s first subway – Line 1 in Beijing will celebrate its 40-year anniversary in 2009. At present, the constructions of rail transit in 25 cities are at early stage. The planned length amounts to over 5,000 kilometers and the total investment volume exceeds RMB 800 billion.


In addition, another 15 cities have been approved to built rail transit and it is planned that 1,700 kilometers rail transit will be finished within 5 years. Taking those under construction into calculation, the total length of rail transit in China will exceed 3,400 kilometers by 2015.


Unaffected by the financial crisis, constructions of rail transit in China still speed up. According to the record, altogether 20 lines have been in use in such 10 cities as Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Changchun, Dalian, Chongqing, Wuhan, Shenzhen and Nanjing. Moreover, about 30 to 50 kilometers are being added annually in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou these years. From the end of 2008 to 2010, RMB 90 billion will be invested into rail transit construction in Beijing and the total length will reach 300 kilometers, 100 of which are newly built.


In the past 30 years, China has been committed to the construction of ground transportation. But nowadays, population in cities grows and big urban agglomerations gradually appear in such economic zones as Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta and Bohai Sea Surrounding areas. Therefore, the ground transportation inner cities or between cities will definitely extend to the underground transit.


Source: China Research and Intelligence

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Eileen Gu