WASHINGTON, May 26 — From the first line in 2008 to the world’s top in mileage, China’s high-speed railway has symbolized a country’s economic power, rapid modernization, growing technology prowess and increasing prosperity, CNN reported.
The network not only helps to integrate the vast national market, but reflects the “coordinated development” across regions, a key concept of China’s new development philosophy, Olivia Cheung, research fellow at the China Institute of the University of London, was quoted by CNN as saying on Friday.
By the end of 2020, the country had more than 37,900 km of high-speed rail lines in service, the longest in the world, according to China State Railway Group Co., Ltd.(China Railway), the country’s railway operator.
With maximum speeds of 350 kph on many lines, the network links all of China’s major mega-city clusters and has become more than merely as a faster mode of choice for domestic long-distance travel, said the report.
China plans to double the network in length to 70,000 km by 2035, said a development outline issued by China Railway in August.
The country’s railway engineers managed to overcome the incredible challenges posed by the sheer size of China and its tremendous variations in terrain, geology and climate, CNN reported.
“From sometimes frozen Harbin in the far north to the near-tropical humidity of the Pearl River Delta megalopolis, to the 1,776-km Lanzhou-Urumqi line traversing the Gobi Desert, China engineers have quickly developed extensive expertise in driving railways over, under and through whatever terrain lies in their path,” it said.
China is also among the first in the world to introduce new technology such as autonomous (driverless) train operation, as evidenced in the 174 km Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed route prepared for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, and advanced signaling and control technology, the report said.