Southwest links open
CHINESE Minister of Railways Fu Zhihuan joined ceremonies at Guiyang on December 30 to mark the completion of upgrading work on CR's Zhuzhou - Liupanshui line. The 1139 km electrified line connecting the industrial heart of Hunan province with the southwestern coalfields of Guizhou province has been double-tracked at a cost of 20bn yuan, raising its capacity to 74 million tonnes a year.
A short distance further west, tracklaying has been completed on a link from Liupanshui to the Kunming - Anbian - Chengdu line inaugurated in September (RG 10.01 p660). Electrification of this corridor, which cuts the Chengdu - Kunming distance by 279 km, began on June 26 and is due to be completed by mid-2002.
The 568 km southern link from Zhanjiang in Guangdong to Chahe on Hainan island is expected to open shortly, following the completion of commissioning tests. Construction work on the 4·5bn yuan project, which includes a train ferry between Hai'an and Haikou, was completed at the end of last year.
H State Development & Planning Minister Zeng Peiyan announced on January 16 that planning for the Beijing - Shanghai high speed line would be completed this year, allowing an early start of work. Research is now underway to enable a decision to be taken as soon as possible on the technology to be used, he said. n