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article imageHigh-speed railway planned to link China and Russia

By Lucky Malicay     May 13, 2016 in Lifestyle
A high-speed railway linking China and Russia is now being planned and representatives from both countries will soon meet for the project’s formal agreement.
The railway project, according to development and reform commission officials in China’s northeastern province of Jilin, will link the Chinese city of Hunchun and the Russian city of Vladivostok.
Located near the border between the two countries, Hunchun is only 180 kilometers away from Vladivostok, the largest city in eastern Russia.
The project, with an estimated cost of about 60 billion yuan, will reduce travel time between the two cities to just under two hours from the current eight hours.
The development comes amid China’s aggressive railway expansion to neighboring countries, especially in South Asia and Southeast Asia.
On May 11, a freight train departed from the city of Lanzhou in northwestern China's Gansu province for Kathmandu, Nepal.
The train, with 43 cars and 86 cargo containers carrying home appliances and other items, will take at least 10 days to reach its destination, much shorter than the 35-day travel via the traditional ocean route.
The new rail service to Nepal is expected to spur economic growth in the Chinese provinces of Gansu and Qinghai, the Tibetan Autonomous Region and other South Asian countries.
China is embarking on the largest expansion of railway transport capacity in a decade as more trains will run from Sunday, according to China Railway Corporation.
Part of the expansion includes increasing passenger trains from 300 pairs to 3,400 pairs, 2,100 pairs of which are high-speed, and raising to 62 the cargo trains traveling to Europe and other Asia countries.
The government also plans to spend 2 trillion yuan on 86 railway projects, including the building of about 20,000 kilometers of railway across the country.
As for the urban rail transit, China is spending 1.6 trillion yuan for 103 projects that include putting up 2,000 kilometers of new lines.
According to the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Transport, the projects are part of a three-year plan that aims to improve the country's infrastructure with a total investment of 4.7 trillion yuan ($723.8 billion).
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