Asian trainspotting

March 15, 1996

In his review (THES, March 1) of Lester R Brown's book, Carl Riskin writes "rather than opting for a Japanese system of efficient rail transportation, China seems intent on promoting its motor vehicle industry".

China may well be promoting its motor vehicle industry but it is certainly not neglecting railway development.

A substantial proportion of China's railway network has been built since the People's Republic was founded, and half a dozen major rail links are under construction or are recently completed. The most spectacular of these is the 2370 km Jing-Jiu Railway, the longest trunk line in China to be constructed as a single project. When completed, in 1997, it will form a new rail corridor from Beijing to Jiulong (Kowloon).

China is also electrifying many main lines and is improving its electric motive power; some of the development work is being done at the China Academy of Railway Sciences near Beijing.

Further details of these and other Chinese railway projects appear in four articles in the December 1995 issue of Railway Gazette International.

E. Keith Lloyd Faculty of Mathematical Studies University of Southampton

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