THE INAUGURATION of electric operation on the 625 km Chongqing - Huaihua line on December 27 saw Chinese Railways’ length of electrified route pass the 20000 km mark.

According to the China Railway Electrification Bureau, the current total of 20123 km gives the country the third largest electrified network in the world, after Russia and Germany. More than 5000route-km was wired during the 2001-05 master plan period, including Harbin - Dalian, Lanzhou - Wuwei and the Qinhuangdao - Shenyang high speed passenger line.

Wiring work is currently underway on another 4000route-km which is due to be commissioned in 2006-07. As well as the 1450 km Beijing - Shanghai corridor, the Jiaozhou - Jinan and Zhejiang - Jiangxi lines are being electrified.

  • The Xinjiang regional government announced on December 29 that work will get underway on three major rail projects during 2006. Double-tracking of the main line from Urumqi to Jinghe is to be completed by mid-2007, and doubling of the Turpan - Korla route will follow a year later. A single-track branch from Kuytun to Karamay is also expected to open in 2008.