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Rail use in China soars despite safety fears

Rail use in China soars despite safety fears

Railway use in China has soared during the first three quarters of 2011, with 11.6 per cent more journeys taken during the period when compared to last year.

In total 1.43 billion journeys were taken, with many Chinese taking to newly-built high-speed railways across the country.

In a statement on its website, the ministry of railways said trains carried 2.9 billion metric tons of goods during the nine-month period, up eight per cent year-on-year.

This growth was attributed to the growth in part to the enhanced efficiency of railway transport.

High-Speed Rail

China’s high-speed railway ambition started with ousted minister Liu Zhijun, who outlined a plan to invest RMB700 billion in constructing 70 railway projects this year, including the $33 billion Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail.

Liu was succeeded by current railway minister Sheng Guangzu after he was sentenced to death over severe corruption scandals.

The ministry has been blasted by public complaints after the deadly train collision in July, which government data said killed nearly 40 people and injured another 200 in the eastern province of Zhejiang.