Over the last decade, China has built itself the longest high-speed train network in the world. At a total length of more than 12,000 km the Chinese rail network has seen a huge expansion and now exceeds all the European and Japanese networks combined.Recently confirmed plans to build a $242bn high-speed rail link to Moscow indicate that a slow-down is not in sight. On the contrary, China plans to double the size of its network again within the next five years.
China’s massive investment in railway construction has yielded desirable results such as boosts to the economy and reduced journey times but it remains questionable whether it is commercially sustainable in the long term.
Considering the vastness of China, however, reducing journey times appears to be generally good for businesses and facilitates trade. The railway between Beijing and Guangzhou, the world’s longest unbroken high-speed track at 2,298km, for example, reduces the journey time by 12 hours.
For now, so long as the growth in air and rail travel around the world persists, it seems wise to keep the massive expansion of China’s railway system on track!
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