xi's moments
Home | Industries

HSR runs at full throttle in Yangtze city cluster

By Zhuang Qiange | China Daily | Updated: 2023-06-08 09:13

Employees work at a tunnel on Hangzhou-Deqing Intercity Railway in Zhejiang province in April. The project is being partly built by the China Railway 24th Bureau Group Corp. XIE SHANGGUO/FOR CHINA DAILY

A high-speed rail rush is fueling the rise of the Yangtze River Delta region as China's economic heartland, which is home to more than one-sixth of the country's population and the source of 24 percent of its GDP last year.

According to China Railway Shanghai Group Co Ltd, a unit of national rail operator China State Railway Group Co Ltd that operates in the delta, railway construction in the region is gathering pace this summer, with more than 20 major railway projects under construction.

New line investment in the delta region topped 108.9 billion yuan ($15.3 billion) last year alone, with the annual figure exceeding 80 billion yuan for the seventh consecutive year, the group said.

Such efforts have made the regional rail network the busiest nationwide. According to the group, the total operating railway in the region reached 13,750 kilometers, with the high-speed network taking up nearly half at 6,704.4 km, one-sixth of the nation's total.

Steel track construction will only gather more speed amid the nation's overall efforts in seeking high-quality development. According to the regional railway development plan, over 16,700 km of high-speed rail will link the region together by the end of 2025.

On May 31, construction workers of the China Railway 24th Bureau Group Corp (CR24), a State-owned contractor, completed the casting of the first simple beam for the Hangzhou-Deqing Intercity Railway in Zhejiang province, marking the start of construction on the upper structures of bridges on the railway.

"Smooth pouring of the first beam always means a lot to the project, as it sets a major standard for the rest of the construction process," said Liu Jianwei, a project manager with CR24.

"The team formulated specific plans for each step, such as foundation treatment, scaffolding and bottom mold laying, and contingency plans for various emergencies. On-site technicians came through training with a clear understanding of the operating procedures and close supervision of each construction link in accordance with operating protocols," Liu added.

With a design speed of 120 kilometers per hour, the 25.9-km intercity railway lies between Hangzhou's Yuhang district and Huzhou's Deqing county, with a total of nine stations.

"Demand in the region is larger than the current service capacity of the local railway, hence the extension of the rail network. The Hangzhou-Deqing Intercity Railway will be a faster rail choice for passengers traveling in between, facilitating the integrated development of the region where the provincial capital is located," he said.

Shanghai, as the main engine driving the development of the delta region, is also ramping up efforts in its urban rail transport network, as the Shanghai Rail Transit Link Airport Express, a rail project linking major transportation hubs in the metropolis, began laying the rails last week.

Shouldering the construction of the first bid of the 68.6 km project, CR24, a China Railway Construction Corp unit, said in its latest progress report that based on the solid rail base foundation accomplished despite many challenges in previous processes, such as a limited construction site in the downtown area and those related to COVID-19 prevention, the team will leverage various simulation and modeling solutions for more efficient track laying in the following processes.

The welding of 100-meter fixed-length special rails is carried out simultaneously and is expected to be delivered to the site by December. Installation of the rails will be a major leap toward the operation in 2024, the builder said.

The Airport Express starts from the Hongqiao transportation hub, passes through Pudong International Airport and extends to Shanghai East Railway Station. Upon completion, the commute time between the two airports, which is around 90 minutes when taking the city's metro, will be shortened to less than 40 minutes.

"City clusters will play a pivotal role in driving China's modernization progress, shaping the landscape of China's future economic space. The development of these clusters relies heavily on the various infrastructure bases they have. Better networks of different infrastructure projects, including high-speed rails and urban highways, will facilitate the chains of logistics and industries and cross-sector cooperation, thus paving the way for smooth development, evidenced by the prosperity seen in the Yangtze River Delta region," said Xu Lin, chairman of the China-US Green Fund, at a forum attended by many Chinese think tanks.

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349