Houston Community News >> Beijing Shanghai Railway Soaring Costs

1/5/2007 Shanghai-- A much publicized high speed Chinese rail planned to connect Beijing and Shanghai appears to have been delayed because of costs that have soared 50 percent over the original budget for the project, a report said yesterday.

The high-profile rail project had an initial price tag of 130 billion yuan (US$16.6 billion) but is now expected to cost US$25 billion, the official Xinhua news agency said.


Construction was expected to begin last year.

However, the project has yet to gain approval from the State Council, China's Cabinet, suggesting that the ambitious plan has been stalled because of problems with the budget, the report said.

The railway ministry expected work on the 1,320km link to begin by the end of this year and be completed by 2010.


It is estimated that the Beijing-Shanghai railway would now cost around 100 million yuan per kilometer, which is still only a third of the cost of a similar line in South Korea, Ministry of Railways engineer He Huawu (何華武) was quoted in the report as saying.

Nevertheless, the higher expenditure could also mean that the project may also need to gain approval from the National People's Congress, China's parliament that must sign off on issues concerning the national budget.

Locomotives on the high speed railway would run at speeds of 350km per hour, shortening travel time between the two cites from 13 hours to less than five, the report said.

(Contributed by AFP)