New figures from the China Railway Corporation (CRC) show that annual investment in railway construction for the first 8 months of 2014 has accelerated to US$65.83 billion, up 20% on last year and in line to reach ambitious annual targets.

Approval had been sought for 64 new projects that would put some 7,000km of new track in place – 46 of those projects are now moving forward with the balance due to start by the end of this year.

Successful projects already finalised include the Beijing-Guangzhou High-Speed Railway that has reduced the time of travel between the two centres from 20 hours to just 8 hours for the 2,298 km journey with train speeds of up to 300km/h. This service extends through to Shenzhen and then on south to Hong Kong next year.

beijing rail

Meanwhile work on the construction of Shanghai’s metro line number 14 is scheduled to start next month. Line 14 will have 31 stations spread across 5 districts and connect to 15 other lines.

The east-west line will be the city’s last biggest subway network to pass through the downtown area. It will cover 39.1 kilometer and cover Jiading, Putuo, Jing’an, Huangpu districts and the Pudong New Area.

As per current plans, 49 eight-carriage trains will be put into use when the line starts operation in 2020. It will operate from 5am to 11pm, and is expected to ferry around 800,000 passengers per day.

It will connect with other major stations like Pudong Avenue, the Jing’an Temple and the Yuyuan Garden.

China has also pledged to invest billions of dollars in India's railway, manufacturing and infrastructure projects during President Xi Jinping's maiden visit to the country this week.

China is positively considering investing in India's ambitious plan to build high-speed railways, including bullet trains.

Chinese officials say that China would be committing anywhere between $100 billion to $300 billion in the modernisation of Indian railways by replacing existing tracks to increase the speed, station development, establishing industrial parks as well as invest in mega infrastructure projects.

The improvement of tracks could push the average train speeds from 160 km/hr to 180 km/hr, Indian officials say. China is asking India to hand over certain railway corridors for it to build, develop and maintain high speed railway lines.

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