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Rail Transport In China

A. F. Benvenuto Thursday, July 29, 2010 ,
Rail traveling is the most generally used means of long-distance transport in the Republic of China. Approximately all rail functions are looked after by the Railways ministry, which is a division of the State Council of the People's Republic of China. By the conclusion of 2009, the functioning rail network pass through the length and breadth of the nation, enveloping a total length of 86,010 km, making just the rail networks in the United States bigger in size By 2007, Chinese Railway possessed nearly 578,110 wagons, 44,0200 coaches and 18,310 locomotives and had more than 36,310 trains running everyday, including nearly 3000 commuter trains and 33,311 cargo trains. The system today serves all states, with the exemption of the special directorial area of Macau.


The primary railway track to be constructed in China was the Woosung Railway in the year 1876, which was a 15 mile railway track from Shanghai to Woosung. Then in the 1911, there was nearly 9010 km of railway track in China. The initially planned and constructed railway by Chinese is the Jingzhang railway made from 1905 to 1909, a tough job owing to the mountainousland. The main engineer of this railway was Zhan Tianyou, who is also famous as the Father of Chinese Railway.

Throughout the Republic of China age from 1912 till 1949, the evolution of the railway network in China was sluggish one. In 1945, just subsequent to the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Chinese mainland maintained 27,100 km of rail, approximately half of which, 13,000 km, was to be found in Manchuria.

The size of the Chinese railway network expanded since 1949, but there has also been great advancement as far as technology was concerned. Initially till the 1980s, majority of the railways were power driven by steam, owing to less labour costs and inexpensive coal prices. Nevertheless, the foremost diesel locomotive, the Dongfeng, was launched in 1959 and during the 1980s and 90s, diesel and electric locomotives very slowly took the place of the steam engines on chief lines.

From the year 1990 to 2001, on average some 1,192 km of fresh railways, 837 km of multiple-track, and 965 km of electrified railways were released to traffic every year. On a global basis, mainland China's rail transport number is one of the world's biggest, having six percent of the world's operating railways, and transporting nearly 25 percent of the world's total railway workload.

Current network China has about twenty chief domestic railway routes with the complete length of 78,100 km by the end of 2007. The length was augmented to 86,100 km by the end of 2009. 


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