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November 29, 2016

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Home » Business » Transport

Nod for US$36b mega-city railway plan

CHINA has approved a 247 billion yuan (US$36 billion) railway plan to improve transport links between the capital Beijing, the port city of Tianjin, and the neighboring province of Hebei, part of plans to integrate the three areas into a mega-city.

The plan will span nine projects that total 1,100 kilometers in length, the National Development and Reform Commission, the country’s economic planner, said yesterday.

The projects will be built over the years to 2020, and are part of a wider plan that will stretch to 2030, it added.

The current population of the three areas is estimated at around 110 million, and by the time the plan is complete, the so-called Jing-Jin-Ji project will span 212,000 square kilometers, or more than twice the size of South Korea.

The expanding railway networks have cut commute time in the region significantly, said Steven McCord, research head at real estate service firm Jones Lang LaSalle.

“It was not possible to go all the way from Beijing to Binghai, and that’s a one-hour trip now. It’s now also possible to go between Tianjin and Tangshan in less than 30 minutes, which was previously several hours’ drive,” he said. “I think there are few places in the world that have that kind of integration. It has made it much easier to do business.”


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