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A new, 350 km/h (217 mph) HSR line linking Zhengzhou (郑州), capital of the province of He’nan (河南) in central China, with Ji’nan (济南), provincial capital of Shandong (山东) in eastern China, is being planned and has had its route confirmed. This route will now run from Zhengzhou via Xinxiang (新乡) and Puyang (濮阳) in He’nan to Liaocheng (聊城) and Ji’nan in Shandong.
The new line will require an investment of CNY 55 billion. The part in Shandong from Liaocheng to Ji’nan will run via Chiping (茌平) and Qihe (齐河), go for 104 km (65 miles), cost CNY 14.5 billion, and be ready for speeds up to 350 km/h (217 mph). A feasibility study has already been completed by the 3rd Railway Survey and Design Institute of China.
The part of the HSR line from Liaocheng to Zhengzhou will be the responsibility of the province of He’nan. This part’s feasibility report has been completed by the 4th Railway Survey and Design Institute of China, and both the National Development and Reform Commission and China Railway Corporation has approved the inclusion of this line in China’s 13th Five-Year Plan.
This route will complete a critical link between the two provincial capitals and will further build Zhengzhou into an HSR hub. The two cities are merely 370 km ( miles) apart in a straight line, but must now rely on a longer route going via Xuzhou (徐州) and Dangshan (砀山), needing to reroute through the provinces of Jiangsu (江苏) and Anhui (安徽). When built, the new HSR line will slash the current travel time, which can be as long as 8-11 hours via regular rail, and 5 hours on faster CRH services, to just over 1 hour.
Even though the He’nan part of this route is still currently undecided as to where specific stations will be, one thing that can be confirmed is that it will run through Puyang. When open, passenger trains will serve this city for the first time ever.