ELECTRICALLY-hauled freight trains began running on Chinese Railways’ Shanghai - Nanjing main line on July 1, with the completion of wiring work on the southern section of the Beijing - Shanghai corridor.

CR’s Shanghai Railway Bureau expects to operate around 20 freight trains each way per day on the 303 km route, including double-stack container services which are to be launched shortly.

Passenger trains will remain diesel-hauled pending the completion of work to upgrade the power supply network, but the electrification is intended to permit the introduction of 200 km/h passenger services between the two cities. Meanwhile, work is continuing to wire the remainder of the 1453 km line through to Beijing.

From the end of 2010, the principal Shanghai - Nanjing passenger trains are expected to switch to a 300 km new line designed for 250 km/h operation, according to Zhang Jianping, Deputy Director of Development & Planning at the Ministry of Railways. Zhang said on June 27 that traffic in the Yangtze delta region is expected to reach 5·5 billion passenger-journeys a year by 2020, compared to 94 million using the local rail services in 2002. A second high speed line linking Shanghai with Ningbo is also to be completed by 2010, heconfirmed. n