China is currently engaged in a five-year huge rail upgrade, unparalled at any time anywhere. Below are links to four Journal of Commerce articles on the subject, as well as some bulletins which have appeared on Erik's Rail News. Document created & last updated: April 12th 1999.
The Journal of Commerce is free for four weeks following registration. Therefter, it is $365 for a year ($300 outside the USA). That's expensive but the quality of the information speaks for itself.
China rail shake-up to affect 1 million jobs
China's ambitious attempts to expand and upgrade its national rail network will see a wholesale reorganization and the departure of up to 1 million of its work force.
Government statistics show 3.37 million people employed by rail-related departments at the end of 1997. By 2000, the number specifically dealing with transportation will be reduced to 1.4 million from 1.7 million, officials say. (June 08, 1998)
China rail expansion plan calls for 5,000 miles of new lines
China, a country chronically strapped for good transport, hopes to add around 5,000 miles of new rail lines over the next five years, bringing its total network to more than 42,000 miles. (Friday, January 12, 1996)
Railroad system due for expansion, foreign technology
Scarcely a week goes by - sometimes not even a day - without China announcing yet another bold improvement to its creaking, crowded rail network. The national rail system expects to move 1.56 billion metric tons of freight this year, including 640 million tons of coal, plus 1.04 billion people. (Monday, May 9, 1994)
Europeans vie for plum China rail contract
European companies are slugging it out for the next plum Asian rail contract - a high-speed link between Beijing and the main industrial center and Port of Shanghai some 800 miles to the southeast. The express route is designed to ease traffic on China's busiest rail corridor, forecast to see cargo demand of 100 million metric tons a year by the end of the decade. It would also cut the travel time to between six and seven hours from the current 17. (Monday, December 6, 1993)
China hopes to finish a five-year, $30 billion investment programme in railway construction by 2002, the official China Daily said on Monday. The network will be expanded to 70 000 km. (April 12th 1999)
Increasing demand for fresh produce in China and for export is fuelling demand for refrigerated railcars there. China's current fleet of reefer cars can handle only 20% of demand. (January 23rd 1999)
Japan has presented China with a plan for co-operation on the latter's high-speed railway project in a bid to strengthen chances that the Chinese government will choose Japan's bullet train over French and German high speed trains for one of the region's most ambitious infrastructure projects. (December 9th 1998)
Bombardier is going to build rail cars in China, in a consortium with another Canadian company and a company owned by the Chinese Ministry of Railways. The scale of current Chinese investments in railway infrastructure dwarf anything else in the world. Also see story at FT.com. (November 23rd 1998)
China has started construction of a 542.6 km railway linking the island of Hainan (southwest of Hong Kong) with the mainland. (September 3rd 1998)
China is to embark on an ambitious plan to reverse the structural decline of its vast but creaking railway network by slashing jobs, reducing losses and raising capital expenditure. (June 8th 1998)
An X2000 EMU is on its way to China since Tuesday the 22nd. It will be tested for three months and then put in revenue service for at least two years, on the line Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hongkong. (January 22nd 1998, more here and here)
A passenger train will run Vietnam - China in order to build cross-border business, according to the China Daily, quoted in the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter. Four times a week the train will run the 550 kms between Ha Noi and Kunming, which lies in the mountains in southern China. (April 23rd 1997)