13 Feb 2011

Beijing reviews high-speed rail plans

China’s Ministry of Railways is conducting a review of the country’s ambitious high-speed rail proposals after an influential state-backed think-tank raised questions about the affordability and practicality of the planned network.

In a report submitted by the China Academy of Science to the State Council, experts urged a rethink of the emphasis on massive infrastructure investment, particularly the bullet train expansion programme.

One of the concerns expressed in the report is the unsustainable level of debt that has propelled rail building projects across the country, particularly since the government launched its stimulus package in late 2008 to combat the effects of the global economic crisis.

The report found that the acceleration of infrastructure investment triggered by the stimulus package had caused a lack of integration between transport services across the country, leaving highways, subways, train stations and airports not properly connected.

Article in FT here

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