Each of the 21 cities in Guangdong Province will be accessible by high-speed railway by 2020, He Ningka, director of the Guangdong Provincial Development and Reform Commission, said early this year.
Today, 16 cities in the province already have been connected to the high-speed railway network. The planning or construction of a connection is underway for the rest five cities—Zhanjiang, Maoming, Yangjiang, Meizhou and Heyuan—is underway.
High-speed railways under construction in Guangdong
Shenmao (Shenzhen-Maoming) Railway 深茂铁路
The Shenmao Railway starts east from Shenzhen North Railway Station, stretches through Dongguan, Guangzhou, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Yangjiang, and ends in the west at Maoming East Railway Station.
Its Jiangmen-Maoming section is expected to be completed this June. When it is completed, the travel time between Guangzhou and Maoming will be cut half from five hours to 2.5 hours, and it will only take three hours to travel from Shenzhen to Maoming.
The Jiangmen-Maoming section will also connect with the existing railway between Maoming and Zhanjiang, enabling citizens of three cities—Zhanjiang, Maoming and Yangjiang— to travel by high-speed railway. When the link is operational, Zhanjiang will be only 3.5 hours from Shenzhen.
The Shenzhen-Jiangmen section will start construction this year and is expected to wrap up by 2024, according to Guangdong's draft plan for major construction projects in 2018. But citizens can still take high-speed railway from Shenzhen to Jiangmen through the railway branch that passes Guangzhou and Foshan (see the blue section of the Shenmao Railway).
Meishan (Meizhou-Shantou) Railway 梅汕高铁/梅汕客专
Meishan Railway, also known as Meishan Passenger Rail Line, stretches 122 kilometers with seven stations. When completed in August 2019, it will enable citizens to travel across Meizhou and Chaozhou, two historical cities, within a day.
Ganshen (Ganzhou-Shenzhen) Railway 赣深高铁/客专
Ganshen Railway, stretching from Ganzhou city in Southeast China's Jiangxi Province to Shenzhen North Railway Station, is the southernmost spur of the Beijing-Kowloon High-speed Railway. When it is completed in 2020, Heyuan will be accessible by high-speed railway and the travel time between Heyuan and Shenzhen will be shortened from the current two hours to 40 minutes.
High-speed railways in service in Guangdong
Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Passenger Rail Link 广深港客专
The rail link, famous for its connection with Hong Kong, is expected to wrap up the last bit of construction in the third quarter of 2018. Upon its completion, the travel time from Guangzhou to Hong Kong will be reduced to 48 minutes from the current two hours.
The rail link stretches beyond Guangzhou, Dongguan and Shenzhen to Shaoguan and Qingyuan in northern Guangdong, making it possible to travel from Guangzhou South Railway Station to Qingyuan in 24 minutes, and to Shaoguan in 51 minutes.
Xiashen (Xiamen-Shenzhen) Railway 厦深线
The railway between Xiamen and Shenzhen—China's two coastal special economic zones—started service in December, 2013. It strings together cities in the eastern part of Guangdong provinces and connects them with Shenzhen.
It takes only 27 minutes to travel from Shenzhen to Huizhou, 64-72 minutes to Shanwei, and 154 minutes to Raoping, Guangdong's northernmost station along the line.
Guiguang (Guiyang-Guangzhou) Railway 贵广线
The Guangdong section of the railway stretches across Zhaoqing, Foshan and Guangzhou. It takes only 19 minutes to travel from Guangzhou South Railway Station to Foshan West Railway Station, and a little more than a half hour to Zhaoqing East Railway Station.
Nanguang (Nanning-Guangzhou) Railway 南广线
This railway, connecting Guangzhou and Nanning, capital of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, began service at the end of 2014. It enables passengers to travel from Guangzhou South Railway Station to Foshan West Railway Station in 19 minutes and to Zhaoqing East Railway Station in a little over half an hour.
Besides the above high-speed railways, the province has also built four intercity railways—Guangshen (Guangzhou-Shenzhen), Guanhui (Dongguan-Huizhou), Guangzhao (Guangzhou-Zhaoqing), and Guangzhu (Guangzhou-Zhuhai).
These intercity railways will enable travelers leaving Guangzhou to reach neighboring cities—Zhaoqing, Zhuhai, Jiangmen, and Dongguan—within an hour.
More higher-speed railway to come
"The high-speed railway in Guangdong is lagging behind provinces in the Yangtze River Delta," said Ma Xingrui, governor of Guangdong province, during a panel discussion of the ongoing meetings of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and the National People's Congress (NPC). "Next we need to build more high-speed railways that can travel over 350 kilometers per hour."
"We only have two railways—Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link and Wuhan-Guangzhou High-Speed Railway—that travel over 350 kilometers per hour," Ma said. "And population of the province is concentrated mainly in coastal cities like Zhanjiang, where modern infrastructure hasn't been able to keep up with the travel demand." He pointed out the infrastructure letdown of the province and expressed determination to build higher-speed railways, especially between the eastern and western parts of Guangdong, to realize connectivity and a balanced development throughout the province.
Source: Life of Guangzhou
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