The official media reports came out after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang sought more private investments in railway, saying railway development will stabilise economic growth, enhance social harmony and help urbanisation.
Railways paid solely by the government and managed by administrative order must become a thing of the past, he said.
However, some experts questioned the comparative advantage of inter-provincial railways over other means of transport.
“It is internationally believed that a distance of 500 km is to the best advantage of high-speed railways and a distance of 1,000 kilometres is the maximum, but the distances between big Chinese cities are usually more than 1,000 kilometres,” Zhao Jian, a professor with the School of Economics and Management at Beijing Jiaotong University, told the daily.
He said that passengers prefer planes for longer trips since high-speed train fares are not cheaper than air fares at that distance.
Zhao chose the 1,300-kilometre-long Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway as an example.
“There are more trains between Beijing and Jinan along the line, at a distance of around 500km than between Beijing and Shanghai, while the number of flights between the two biggest metropolises in China has not decreased,” Zhao said.
Wang, however, argued that the undersea high-speed railway will drive economic development in the northeastern region and meet the huge demand for energy resources from coastal cities.
“In addition to the coastal regions, China should also develop northwestern, northeastern and southeastern parts to be gateways as Central and Western Asian countries serve as large energy exporters for China,” Wang added.
Contradicting the claim, Zhao said that high-speed trains cannot provide freight services, and energy reserves in the three provinces in Northeast China are low.
Even if trains are able to carry goods, the inadequate passenger flow and freight volume from the region will put high-speed railway under great pressure to recoup its enormous building costs, he said.
Lokesh Arvind ()
Googled in net and i saw that only railline between beiging and shangai run on profit…
Maxx (california) replies to Lokesh Arvind
The motive behind all transportations is not money making and profits. That’s the reason why only public sector engages in that. Providing transportation to people, at a reasonable cost is the primary motive. It also provides jobs.
badegg (US) replies to Lokesh Arvind
The Beijing -Guangzhou one should be profitable very soon with the number of passengers is growing fast. The high-speed railways in China are still segmental and that’s why China needs to build the high-speed railways faster so that a network will be formed sooner and more people will use it. Now 40% of Chinese railway passengers are using high-speed. Another reason is that Chinese railways is still very cheap for passengers. China haven’t increase the passenger ticket price for more than 10 years.
roger k (unknown)
Sounds brilliant idea and it will be a great piece of engineering achievement for China, if it would take up the challenge. Always there will be people to disagree with anything that is new ! Those under sea tunnels can be of great use in case there is a major war !
Maxx (california) replies to roger k
They can be helpful in case of a major natural disaster also !
Delhi NCR (s)
Chines.. will u get some time to work on a quality based functionality rather then mass
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badegg (US) replies to Delhi NCR
Isn’t Chinese railway 1000 times better than India’s in quality?
Maxx (california) replies to badegg
He can’t see that ! He has been blinded by Modi mania !!!!
maheshpal vadhera (new delhi)
Will Modi take a clue from Li during his visit to New Delhi next month. Will Modi take a clue from Li during his visit to New Delhi next month?. Modernization of our railways is long pending and Chinese support should be welcome.