Xinhua. China has set up an interagency coordination group to enhance its ability to develop an advanced high-speed rail system.
The group will coordinate planning, research and development, industrial manufacturing and equipment upgrades, with a special focus on clearing technological obstacles to build a high-speed trunk line between Beijing and Shanghai. It will be co-chaired by Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) Minister Wan Gang, a former Audi chief technologist for hybrid vehicles; and Ministry of Railways (MOR) Minister Liu Zhijun.
MOR has tested the country’s first high-speed railway connecting Beijing and Tianjin since the end of May, with an average speed of 300 km per hour [186 mph]. Last week, President Hu Jintao test rode the train, which covered 120 km within 30 minutes.
On Tuesday, the country started to build its second inter-city high-speed rail line linking Nanjing and Shanghai, one of the most important business hubs in the Asia Pacific region. The 300-km line was estimated to cost 39.45 billion yuan (5.7 billion US dollars) and would be completed in four years.
...Among the 18,000 km of newly-built passenger railroads planned toward 2020, most were high-speed lines. The first commercial operation of the China High-speed Railway (CHR) would start before the opening of the Olympics on Aug. 8.