Not too long ago, there was no high-speed transportation network that connected any of China’s cities. It was a time when commuters lived by older trains, enduring crowded, infrequent and sluggish travels.
Now, China boasts having the world’s largest bullet-train network. With 20,000 km of dedicated rail lines, it has 60% of the world’s installed network, facilitating mobility like never before.
The country has undoubtedly become more connected than ever. For instance, the megacities of Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai are now developing commuter corridors, The Economist said. In a way, bullet trains help those who cannot afford to live in more expensive cities to still reach them at impressive speeds. Why rent in pricey Shanghai when you can in nearby Kunshan for 70% less? With a bullet train fare of just 25 yuan ($3.60) and 19 minutes between them, it seems an effective choice on cutting down costs.
Interestingly, this bullet-train network is bound to get even bigger. It is scheduled to expand to 30,000 km by 2020 and 45,000 km by 2030, South China Morning Post previously reported. Trains that carry passengers at 500 km/h and cargo at 250 km/h are currently being developed.
The extensions were revealed by Jia Limin, professor at Beijing Jiaotong University, who said in an interview:
“China will have the experience to operate high-speed rail networks in the world’s most diverse geographic and climatic conditions, from deserts to alpine plateaus to rainforests. That gives Chinese technology the unique ability to adapt to any condition anywhere in the world.”