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China mulls 6,800 km new rail track for 2019

By News Desk

The Chinese Government has earmarked 6,800 kilometers (4,225 miles) worth of new railway lines for 2019, a 40 percent jump from the length of tracks laid last year.

According to the country’s railway operator on Wednesday, amid a wider push to boost infrastructure spending, at least 3,200 kilometers of this target will be high-speed rail.

The China Railway Corp, in a statement on its official WeChat account, said it invested in 4,683 kilometers worth of new rail lines last year, of which 4,100 were high-speed rail.

The country invested 802.9 billion yuan ($117.12 billion) in rail fixed assets in 2018, the company added. It had set an initial budget of 732 billion yuan in January last year.

It did not give an investment target for 2019.

China has spent billions of dollars in its railway network over the past decade, but there have been signs that this was starting to slow as the network grew and Beijing began to crack down on local government debt. Its 2018 investment target was its lowest since 2013.

However, the government began to speed up investment spending in the second half of last year in a bid to spur growth in the country’s slowing economy by approving new railway projects and reviving suspended ones.

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