2008-01-13 22:00:56 Xinhua English
BEIJING, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Construction of the high-speed railway between Beijing and financial hub Shanghai is due to begin on January 18.
A ceremony will be held in Beijing on Friday, Beijing Times reported on Monday, saying it would take five years for the project to be completed. The daily said the information was revealed at a national railway work conference held over the weekend.
The Ministry of Railways would contribute 78.9 percent of the total investment estimated at 160 billion yuan (21.9 billion U.S. dollars), while the remaining 21.1 percent would come from other investors.
According to Railway Minister Liu Zhijun, all preparations for the rail route have been completed.
The cost of land appropriation and resident resettlement along the rail line is estimated at 23.3 billion yuan.
Civil engineering work on the 1,318-kilometer railway is expected to cost 83.7 billion yuan and is divided into six sub-contracts.
China Railway Construction Corporation, which built the Qinghai-Tibetan Railway, Shanghai Maglev train, Beijing-Kowloon Railway and the western railway across Hong Kong, took the lion's share of 40.3 percent, or 33.74 billion yuan (about 4.64 billion U.S. dollars), through its two subsidiaries, the No. 12 and No. 17Bureaus.
China Railway Group Limited secured the second largest share worth 21.965 billion yuan, about 26.2 percent.
China hopes to run the China Railway High-speed (CRH) train with a speed of 350 kilometers per hour on the new railway. The latest model of the CRH series, with a speed of 300 kilometers per hour, rolled off the production line last month.
Upon completion in 2013, the high-speed railway will cut travel time between the Chinese capital and its largest economic hub from the present 10 hours to about five hours, doubling the existing transport capacity of 160 million passengers annually.