Premier Li: Developing Central China
This article gives an excellent idea of how the Chinese government approaches its people’s needs holistically. And it isn’t just talk about developing central China. Soon I’ll be able to drive (on the just-opened Asian Highway) from my home in Chiang Mai to Kunming, the board a high-speed train either to Shanghai or….Lhasa!
Premier Li Keqiang visits construction of the Shanghai-Kunming high-speed railway in Changsha, Hunan province, developing Central China
Central China as growth engine for the entire nation
China is famous for its low cost high speed rail construction, yet it beats every other country except Japan for HSR safety.
According to a World Bank paper titled High-Speed Railways in China: A Look at Construction Costs, several factors influence the cost of a high speed rail project construction. The major factors include the line design speed, topography along the alignment, weather conditions, land acquisition costs, use of viaducts instead of embankments, the construction of major bridges across wide rivers, and the construction of mega stations.
Laying track on viaducts is often preferred in China to minimize resettlement and the use of fertile land as well as to reduce environmental impacts. The estimated cost of viaducts in China ranges from RMB 57 to 73 m/km for a double track line. Such costs are kept low through standardization of the design and manufacturing process for casting and laying bridge beams on viaducts.
China and Germany Freight rail links will increase 700% by 2020
There are two existing freight rail links between China and Europe. One is between Chengdu in Sichuan Province and Lodz in Poland. Another is between Chongqing and Duisburg in Germany. Both were established in recent years. The 9,826 km Chengdu – Lodz link was established in April 2013. Each trip takes 14 days, which is only one third of the time taken by sea. Freight cost is estimated to be reduced by 75%. The 10,800 km (6,750 miles) Chongqing – Duisburg route was established in July 2011. Each trip takes 13 days. The annual freight volume handled via this link in 2012 was 2 million metric tons. The estimated future peak volume is 15 million metric tons.