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By 2012 it will take between one to eight hours to reach most major cities in China by high-speed railway from Beijing, a senior railway engineer recently told a forum on city development.

According to a Xinhua report Wednesday, He Wuhua, the Ministry of Railways' chief engineer, told the forum that in two years' time it would be possible to reach any provincial capital city in China from Beijing in under eight hours by train (excepting Urumqi and Lhasa).

While He did say that it would still take one hour to reach cities in Hebei Province like Shijiazhuang, Qinhuangdao and Chengde, it would only take two hours to reach Shenyang, Jinan, Zhengzhou and Taiyuan.

Reaching Changchun, Dalian, Nanjing, Hefei and Hohhot, he said, would take three hours. Getting to Harbin, Xi'an, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanchang and Fuzhou would take between four to eight hours.

Other experts at the forum said that high-speed railway lines would do wonders to boost the country's economy and make it easier to transport resources.

During the same two years the total length of working railway lines in China will reportedly increase from 80,000 kilometers to more than 100,000 kilometers, 18,000 kilometers of which will be high-speed passenger rails.

China currently has the most high-speed rails in the world with more than 6,500 kilometers of track running trains at speeds of either 200 to 500 kilometers per hour or 350 kilometers per hour.

(Source: Global Times)

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