2008-01-13 22:58:57 Shanghai Daily
CONSTRUCTION of the new Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway is expected to start this Friday, railway planners announced, Beijing Times reported today.
Forty sites of the 220-billion-yuan (US$30.31 billion) project will begin construction on Friday, the report said.
The high-speed rail link, scheduled for completion in five years, will cut traveling time between Shanghai and the capital from 12 hours to less than five.
Trains will travel at up to 350 kilometers per hour on the 1,318-kilometer railway. Twenty-one stations will be established along the route, according to an earlier notice from the ministry.
China set up a company to lead construction of the Shanghai-Beijing railway on December 27, according to previous reports.
The company's shareholders include the Ministry of Railways, China Railway Construction Investment Company, the National Council for Social Security Fund, Ping An Asset Management Co Ltd and Shanghai Shentie Investment Co.
The Ministry of Railways will fund 78.9 percent of the project while the others investors will provide the remaining 21.1 percent.
Meanwhile, the ministry said a total of 23.3 billion yuan will be paid in compensation to relocate residents in eight provinces and three municipalities along the route, the report said.
Local governments will pay the relocation compensation in exchange for a stake in the country's most important railway project this year, the report said.
The Shanghai terminal of the new railway will be built at the Hongqiao Transport Hub. The area which will serve as a transfer station for Hongqiao International Airport, a Maglev station, at least three Metro stations and several bus stations.
So far, the project has attracted interest from some of the world's largest railway technology companies including France's Alstom, Canada's Bombardier, Japan's Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Germany's Siemens.
The design life of the railway is expected to be 100 years.