China has unveiled ambitious plans to export its rail technologies worldwide, including the creation of a global network that would slash train times between Beijing and London to as little as two days.
Just two years after completing its first high-speed link, the Chinese Ministry of Railways is considering plans to build two lines to Europe, one passing through India, Pakistan, the Middle East and terminating in London, while a second would head to Germany via Russia.
There are also plans for a third line extending south from China to connect Vietnam, Thailand, Burma and Malaysia.
Wang Mengshu, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, confirmed that work on the Southeast Asia line had already begun.
“We have also already carried out the prospecting and survey work for the European network, and central and eastern European countries are keen for us to start,” he said.
However negotiations among the various countries have only just started, and the lines are not likely to be completed before 2025.
If China is able to pull off this ambitious plan, it would be a huge boost to its rail industry and would help Beijing recoup the billions of yuan it has invested to transform its ageing national railways.
China’s Ministry of Railways is also going head-to-head with the Japanese for the US$8 billion which Barack Obama had earmarked to rebuild U.S. rail.
General Electric has already announced a partnership with the Chinese state group to manufacture equipment for U.S. high-speed rail projects.