China’s ambitious high-speed rail to connect 11 provinces including Hainan
A railway expert and academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering elaborated on the country's ambitious high-speed rail projects that include not only a rail network built inside of China, but also a string of plans connecting the country to others.
Wang Mengshu, the rail expert, said all provincial capitals will be linked to Beijing via high-speed rail, and that travelling times will be reduced to eight hours, except on routes between Beijing, Urumqi and Lhasa.
Any two of these provincial capitals will also be linked by high speed rail, he added.
Wang pointed out the coastal railway stretching from northeast China via 11 provincial regions to south China's Hainan province, covering a length of 5700 kilometres, as a crown achievement.
The coastal railway will traverse Bohai and Qiongzhou straits via an underwater channel. Once complete, it will become a main route for energy transportation, he added.
China is also mulling a railway that stretches from China to Singapore via Thailand and Malaysia.
Two trans-continental routes are on the country's rail agenda, too, with one from China's Xinjiang that ends in Poland via Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus. The other will stretch through Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Iran and at last reach Germany, as a fast track to transport oil, Wang said.
China is also considering building a high-speed railway that runs via Siberia and the Bering Strait to Alaska, across Canada and on to the US, according to the expert.