CHINESE Railways is to invest 55bn yuan during 1999, the Ministry of Railways announced in March. Under the five-year development plan launched last year (RG 9.98 p611) this year will see the construction of 1320route-km of new line.

Last month CR completed feasibility studies for two alternative routes to the Tibetan capital Lhasa. One would run from Golmud via Amdo, Nagqu, Damxung and Yangbajain, totalling 1100 km at an estimated cost of 13·9bn yuan. The other would run from Dali in Yunnan via Bomi and Nang Xian (RG 10.98 p629). This 1654 km route is costed at 63·5bn yuan, but offers scope for connections to Myanmar and Thailand in the future.

  • Trains have started running on the 232 km Handan - Jining line which is due to be completed next year. The line connects the Beijing - Kowloon line at Liaochen with the Beijing - Shanghai corridor at Jining (RG 9.98 p613, project 18).