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March 2, 2013

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Hutong Railway construction major boon for Yangtze delta

CONSTRUCTION has started on a railway project connecting Shanghai and Nantong, authorities announced yesterday.

The Hutong Railway is expected to shorten travel time and improve regional transportation, officials said.

The railway, some 137 kilometers long, includes 18 kilometers in Shanghai and 119 in Jiangsu. It will mark the completion of a railway system running north and south connecting the coastal Jilin, Liaoning, Shandong, Zhejiang and Fujian provinces.

The railway should be finished in five and a half years. The main phase, from west Nantong in Jiangsu Province to Anting in Shanghai's Jiading District, will have nine stops.

With a designed speed of 200 kilometers per hour, it will take only an hour for a one-way trip, half the time of a long-distance bus, according to the Ministry of Railways.

"The Hutong Railway is an important part of China's great coastal railway channel," said Vice Minister Lu Dongfu.

The railway should improve transportation capacity across the Yangtze River and have a significant impact on regional economics, according to Lu.

A new, 1,092-meter cable-stayed bridge for trains and road traffic, which is expected to be the biggest bridge of its type in the world, will span the Yangtze River, said Zhang Min, director of the China Railway Major Bridge Reconnaissance & Design Institute.

A cable-stayed bridge has towers or pylons from which cables support the deck. The bridge will have four railway and six vehicle lanes.

"The Hutong Railway should be the third channel across the Yangtze River after Sutong and Chongqi bridges," said Zhang.


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