Yangtze River Delta region invests in railway network development

Updated: Mar 4, 2024 By Wang Ying Print
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Shanghai's East Railway Station under construction, on Feb 16, 2024. [Photo/VCG]

The Yangtze River Delta region is welcoming a new investment boom estimated at around 140 billion yuan in railway construction this year, and the major railway projects will include Shanghai's East Railway Station, the would-be second-largest transport hub in the eastern metropolis, said official sources.

"More than 140 billion yuan worth of investment will be poured into railway infrastructure throughout the year of 2024, which is highly likely to hit a record high," a personnel from the China Railway Shanghai Group Co Ltd was quoted as saying by local news portal Shanghai Observer on Sunday.

The new projects will cover 32 key programs' extension and development, the personnel said.

The new investment will surpass the amount of last year, which totaled 125.3 billion yuan and the eighth year in a row that the figure stayed above 80 billion yuan.

The Shanghai's East Railway Station is among the key projects that put focus on high-quality development and the integration of the Yangtze River Delta region.

Literally known as the eastern hub, the project is an integrated transportation hub about 5 kilometers away from the Shanghai Pudong International Airport's terminal 1. Situated in the Pudong New Area, the project will taking up a construction area of about 1 million square meters.

By its completion, the eastern hub will become Shanghai's second-largest transportation hub after the existing Hongqiao transportation hub.

The State Council has approved in principle the general plan of constructing the eastern hub international business cooperation zone earlier in February.

To better exert Shanghai's strengths in opening-up, the plan should be implemented based on the city's existing status as an international aviation hub, making good use of the institutional innovative achievements of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, creating a highly convenient vehicle for international business communications, better connecting domestic and international markets, so as to make greater contribution in promoting high level opening-up, according to the statement from the China's Cabinet.

Based on Shanghai's East Railway Station, the project would combine transportation functions of aviation, national railway, urban railway, and metro together to facilitate the integration of the Yangtze River Delta region, serve Pudong New Area's goal of playing a leading role in China's new journey to fully build a modern socialist country, and accelerate Shanghai's efforts to forge a socialist modern international metropolis with global influence, according to the Information Office of Shanghai Municipality.

By the end of 2023, the Yangtze River Delta region has formed one of the nation's most developed and sophisticated high-speed railway networks. Total railway networks of the region exceeded 14,300 kilometers, including more than 7,100 km of high-speed railway network.

As the railway network is extended to more cities across the region, a life circle within one to three hours' railway travelling is taking shape.

Railway network in operation is projected to reach 16,700 km by the end of 2025, including some 9,200 km of high-speed railway, according to the development plan for the Yangtze River Delta region's railway network.

While the plan of Shanghai's eastern hub is well underway, various new programs are being carried out thanks to coordinated efforts by cities and provinces of the region.

In Jiangsu province, a number of major railway projects with a combined budget of more than 175 billion yuan are under construction at an accelerated pace. Longer than 4,500 km of railway network are in operation across the province, including over 2,500 km of high speed network.

A railway network of a length of 3,989 km has been formed in Zhejiang province as of the end of 2023, reaching all major cities except Zhoushan islands.

In Anhui province, the 5,501 km railway network, including 2,537 km high-speed railway, is connecting 24 provincial capital cities across the nation, which has greatly enhanced people's travelling experience and improved local business environment.

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