General Manager Sheng Guangzu of the China Railway Corporation presided over the 2016 China Railways Work Conference, held on 17 January 2016 in Beijing. Here is a summary of the meeting.
Recapping 2015 Developments
With a network of 19,000 km (11806 mi), China continued to be home of the largest HSR network worldwide, with over 60% of all HSR tracks in the People’s Republic. CNY 823.8 billion was spent on expanding and improving the railway network. Of the 9,531 km (5,922 mi) of new track opened for operations, HSR accounted for a full third, at 3,306 km (2,054 1/4 mi).
Across the national rail network, over 2.5 billion passengers were carried, a 10% increase over the past year, and a third such year-on-year increase. Loose cargo transport increased by 18.7% year on year, whilst those fixed in containers increased by 20.2% year on year.
There were also major improvements in operations and technology. The launch of the new 350 km/h (217 mph) home-built China HSR Trainset, as well as further collaboration abroad, were major achievements. This new trainset is still being tested on the rails. Finally, just before the conference, the Beijing-Shanghai HSR won a Special Prize for National Technology Improvements.
With 2015 a success, China Railways was able to successfully complete goals as outlined in China’s 12th Five-Year Plan.
Looking Ahead to 2016
The goals of the railways this year are to closely follow government policy and the new development principles of the upcoming 13th Five-Year Plan. The market, economy, and innovation will be main areas of focus. Six new areas were outlined for innovation:
1. Safety. Improvements in safety management, more stress on norms and standards, and inspection work made routine, will be key to ensuring the railways remain safe.
2. Transport. The railways will continue to be more market-oriented, and major improvements for passenger transport will be made. There will be improvements in rail transport service quality; also, enhancements will also be made for cargo transport.
3. Operations. Innovation is planned for railway operations. There will also be an improvement in how the nationwide corporate body manages regional railway bureaus.
4. Network Development. The railway network will continue to expand into 2016, and there will be a more felt emphasis on key projects and developments in Central and Western China. CNY 800 billion is earmarked for network expansion and improvement in 2016.
5. Technology. The railways will be made smarter through improved technology, and technological improvements tailored to actual rail situations in China will be made.
6. International Involvements. China Railways will be more competitive into the new year, and the main national railway corporate body will be given a greater role to play in this. Key international projects will see more progress, and the market for international cargo transport will continue to grow.
Internal improvements, including matters involving PR, corporate culture, anti-corruption, and other bodies and matters, were also mentioned. The conference was attended by all 18 regional railway bureaus, specialised rail transport companies, the Third Railway Survey and Design Institute, and other entities including those involved in China Railway matters overseas.
What Has Been Built So Far — And What’s Next
Through to late 2015, much of China’s core 4×4 HSR network has been built; any and all remaining parts are also being built as we speak.
Fully built: Beijing-Shanghai, Beijing-Guangzhou, Tianjin-Shenyang via Qinhuangdao, Shanghai-Shenzhen via Hangzhou, Ningbo, and Fuzhou, and Shanghai-Chengdu HSR lines.
Parts of 4×4 network built in part (now open): Shenyang-Harbin, Shenyang-Dalian, Zhengzhou-Baoji via Xi’an, Shanghai-Guiyang via Hangzhou and Changsha, Qingdao-Ji’nan via Zibo, and Shijiazhuang-Taiyuan HSR lines.
Parts of 4×4 network under construction (being built): Beijing-Shenyang, Ji’nan-Shijiazhuang, Xuzhou-Zhengzhou, Baoji-Lanzhou, and Guiyang-Kunming HSR lines.
The HSR line from Lanzhou to Ürümqi, seen as an extension of the line which would ultimately run from Xuzhou through to Lanzhou, was also operational and had been in fact opened in late 2014.
Other parts of China’s massive HSR network that were opened throughout 2015 included the following:
National HSR network: Datong-Xi’an, Hefei-Fuzhou, Harbin-Qiqihar, Guiyang-Guangzhou, Panjin-Yingkou, Shenyang-Dandong, and Jilin-Hunchun (via Tumen) HSR lines.
Interregional HSR network: Nanning-Guangzhou, Nanchang-Fuzhou (and Putian), Longyan-Xiamen, Taiyuan-Zhongwei (Yinchuan), Baotou-Xi’an, Ji’an-Hengyang, Jining-Baotou (expanded rail line), Dalian-Qianyang, Tianjin-Baoding, and Ganzhou-Longyan (via Ruijin) lines.
Intercity HSR network: Beijing-Tianjin (including extension to Binhai New Area), Guangzhou-Zhuhai, Wuhan-Xianning, Wuhan-Huangshi, Wuhan-Huanggang, Nanjing-Anqing, Zhengzhou-Jiaozuo, and Zhengzhou-Xinzheng Airport Intercity HSR lines.
In very late December 2015, a host of other lines also opened, including the West Ring Line of the Hainan Ring HSR, as well as others.
Other lines in the whole network in China that are being built include Xi’an-Chengdu, Hangzhou-Huangshan, Chongqing-Guiyang, Chongqing-Wanzhou, Nanchang-Ganzhou via Ji’an, Harbin-Mudanjiang, Shangqiu-Hangzhou via Hefei, Jiujiang-Quzhou via Jingdezhen, Shanghai-Nantong, Qinjiang-Changde via Zhangjiajie, Qingdao-Lianyungang, and Harbin-Jiamusi HSR or express rail lines.
Already, the current network is large enough to cover most cities with a population of 500,000 or more. This network will continue to be expanded even further into the future.
Source: China Railway Corporation