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China's High-Speed Rail Development (English)

Over the past decade, China has built 25,000 km of dedicated high-speed railway—more than the rest of the world combined. What can we learn from this remarkable experience? China’s High-Speed Rail Development examines the Chinese experience to draw lessons for countries considering investing in high-speed rail. The report scrutinizes the planning and delivery mechanisms that enabled the rapid construction of the high-speed rail system. It highlights the role of long-term planning, consistent plan execution, and a joint venture structure that ensures active participation of provincial and local governments in project planning and financing. Traffic on China’s high-speed trains has grown to 1.7 billion passengers a year. The study examines the characteristics of the markets for which high-speed rail is competitive in China. It discusses the pricing and service design considerations that go into making high-speed rail services competitive with other modes and factors such as good urban connectivity that make the service attractive to customers. One of the most remarkable aspects of the Chinese experience is the rapid pace of high-quality construction. The report looks at the role of strong capacity development within and cooperation among China Railway Corporation, rail manufacturers, universities, research institutions, laboratories, and engineering centers that allowed for rapid technological advancement and localization of technology. It describes the project delivery structures and incentives for delivering quality and timely results. Finally, the report analyzes the financial and economic sustainability of the investment in high-speed rail. It finds that a developing country can price high-speed rail services affordably and still achieve financial viability, but this requires very high passenger density. Economic viability similarly depends on high passenger density.


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    Lawrence,Martha B., Bullock,Richard G., Liu,Ziming

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    East Asia and Pacific,

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  • Doc Name

    China's High-Speed Rail Development

  • Keywords

    Economic Internal Rate of Return; financial internal rate of return; high-speed rail network; Operational Core Curriculum; average revenue per passenger; short period of time; large number of passenger; city boundary; high-speed rail corridor; high-speed rail service; gross domestic product; conventional rail service; trains per hour; geographic information system; privileges and immunity; conventional rail network; Public Sector Organizations; national transport system; freight transport services; public service obligation; global financial crisis; high-speed rail system; kilometers per hour; economies of scale; rail track maintenance; cost of finance; framework for development; greenhouse gas emission; chain of responsibility; operation and management; management and administration; construction and equipment; expansion of coverage; debt service costs; modern enterprise system; project management structure; laws and regulation; types of service; technology transfer agreement; private sector investor; choice of service; high-speed line; national railway; rolling stock; traffic density; market size; supply industry; train operation; rail sector; railway sector; dedicated line; railway line; rail fare; ticket revenue; development of capacity; urban transport; passenger use; research institution; research institutions; incentive compensation; technical standard; railway restructuring; intercity network; urban economics; pricing policy; price flexibility; traffic demand; safe operation; government subsidy; financial viability; financial picture; physical inspection; asset condition; construction equipment; Population Density; labor mobility; good traffic; urban income; intercity train; high fare; urban rail; radical change; family visit; rail investment; city planning; civil engineering; innovative way; asset construction; hourly service; average cost; air traffic; short distance; intercity bus; investment cost; market demand; investment program; active participation; management companies; price sensitive; lower-income group; conventional train; passenger travel; social network; development target; express freight; connection time; trunk line; metropolitan region; international standard; infrastructure component; national laboratory; Research Organizations; medium-size city; container service; Economic Stimulus; national economy; international programs; high capital; technology choice; freight service; long-distance passenger; provincial capitals; fast train; transport market; passenger traffic; market competitiveness; urban agglomeration; passenger demand; passenger flow; express train; busy route; short notice; average speed; traffic circle; provincial city; government support; project plan; passenger volume; vertical line; railway safety; financing arrangement; railway construction; railway transport; public network; railway operation; rail transport; railway accident; preparatory work; railway system; commercial activity; planned economy; public railway; regional connectivity; highway congestion; financial rate; feeder line; Revenue Management; freight volume; freight train; municipal railway; analytical process; land use; financial restructuring; safety management; equipment management; train control; financial structure; ownership interest; railway investment; private company; rail program; subsidiary company; development partner; commercial purpose; financial analysis; technical innovation; transport development; international transport; regulatory issue; inspection program; rail market; rural transportation infrastructure; rail share; original work; inland waterway; business structure; passenger trip; project construction; infrastructure maintenance; financial evaluation; incentive mechanism; fare structure; contract management; large-scale infrastructure; open economy; sole responsibility; air service; sustainable solution; financial sustainability; copyright owner; financing plan; Financing plans; lease financing



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Lawrence,Martha B. Bullock,Richard G. Liu,Ziming

China's High-Speed Rail Development (English). International Development in Focus Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.