Hangzhou Bay bridge

CHINA: Construction has started on three more sections of high speed line totalling 923 km in central China, and on one 310 km line in the Shanghai area which includes a 29 km bridge across the Hangzhou Bay.

Construction of the 292 km long, 350 km/h Chengdu – Chongqing line started on November 28. Works include six stations between Chengdu and Chongqing Bei, and Chengdu station will also be expanded and refurbished. The line is scheduled to be completed within five years.

A day later, work began on the 449 km long Chongqing – Ankang Passenger-Dedicated Line, which is also designed for 350 km/h operation. This continuation of the corridor from Ankang to Xi’an has been under construction since June 2021. On the Chongqing – Ankang section, 10 stations are to be built. The scope includes various connecting lines that serve Fankuai, Kaizhou and Wanzhou, adding a further 89 km. The Ankang – Xi’an section is planned to open in 2026 and Chongqing – Ankang in 2028.

On November 30, construction started on a third new line segment in the same region, covering 93 km from Xi’an toTongchuan. This forms part of a longer route; the 207 km from Tongchuan to Yan’an has been under construction since May 2021. Both the Xi’an – Tongchuan and Tongchuan – Yan’an sections are scheduled to open in November 2025. The PDL will bring down travel time from Xi’an to Yan’an from the current 2 h 30 min to around 1 h.

All three corridors form part of China’s ‘eight vertical and eight horizontal’ high-speed network development strategy.

Meanwhile, civil works have also started on the 310 km Nantong – Ningbo PDL. Designed for 350 km/h operation, this will bypass Shanghai to the west, serving Suzhou and Jiaxing instead.

One of the defining features will be a 29 km viaduct across Hangzhou Bay, complementing the 35 km long road bridge opened in 2007. According to design surveys conducted in early 2021, the wind speed around the site of the viaduct can reach up to 145 km/h, with waves up to 7 m high. Because of maritime traffic requirements, the main span of the bridge will be nearly 450 m; a cable stayed central structure with three piers is envisaged, and the main span will support two single-track running lines with ballastless track.

The Nantong – Ningbo line will serve 10 stations, of which five will be new; opening is envisaged by the end of 2027.