EIGHT public and private-sector organisations in China signed an agreement on April 6 to build a 200 km coal railway.

The 4·1bn yuan scheme is one of the first to make use of provisions agreed in 2004 to accelerate investment in the 70000 km rail network as a means of raising capacity (RG 9.04 p526). Running from Qian’an in Hebei province to a new port at Caofeidian south of Tangshan, the line is intended to provide an alternative outlet for coal currently being hauled from Datong to Qinhuangdao, where shipment can be delayed by port congestion.

Apart from a 17·9% stake held by the Beijing Railway Administration, the scheme is being funded by Tangshan Port Investment Co, Guangdong Pearl River Investment Co, Tangshan Thermo Power Co, China Resources Power Holding Co, Shanghai Electronic Industrial Co, Hebei Construction Investment Co and Tangshan Caofeidian Industrial Development Co.

  • Chinese Railways has successfully run a coal train grossing 20000 tonnes. Consisting of 201 aluminium wagons, it was hauled between Datong and Qinhuangdao by four SS4-4 electric locomotives, taking 9h 20min for the 653 km trip.