CHINA: Construction of the first Passenger-Dedicated Line to be financed through a public-private partnership arrangement officially began on March 9.

The 331 km high speed line linking the cities of Hangzhou and Wenzhou in the eastern Zhejiang province is scheduled for completion in 2021, cutting the journey time from 2 ½ h to 1 h.

The National Development & Reform Commission envisages that 4·5tr yuan of transport projects will be funded by PPPs in the next few years. The Hangzhou – Wenzhou high speed rail project follows the launch of December of work on the 269 km Hangzhou – Taizhou Intercity Railway, the first such line to be delivered under a 30-year PPP concession which will see private firms contribute 51% of the cost and recoup their investment from subsidies guaranteed by the local authorities which will take over ownership at the end of the 26-year operating period.