New rail links eyed under Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei plan

May 09, 2014 13:20
New rail links are a key element of the development plan for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area. Photo: Bloomberg

Enhancement of rail connectivity and related infrastructure is one of the critical elements in the co-development blueprint for the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area, the 21st Century Business Herald reported Friday.

Currently, Beijing has two transport arteries of high-speed railway, which connect it to vertically to Shanghai and Guangzhou. The government is thinking of horizontal connectivity on the routes to cities in Hebei province. Construction of an inter-city rail web in the region has been ongoing since 2008.

A source close to China Railway Corp was quoted as saying that even as a high-speed rail link between Baoding and Tianjin is under construction and expected to begin operations by end-2015, plans for another high-speed rail route between Shijiazhuang and Tianjin are becoming apparent. However, at the moment it is just an idea of the Hebei provincial government, the person said.

Meanwhile, there is also talk of a Shijiazhuang-Jinan project and a Beijing-Zhangjiakou venture.

Shijiazhuang, the capital of the Hebei, while giving opinions on the co-development plan, has said that it aims to become a hub of transportation and logistics in the country. It said it will speed up preparation work to make the city the center of a regional transportation network.

Meanwhile, as the National Development and Reform Commission has delegated to local governments the approval powers on inter-city railways, local authorities will need to find their own way to raise funds for the projects.

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