BEIJING, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- China's operational high-speed railways have exceeded 3,300 kilometers, leading the world in both length and technologies, the Ministry of Railways said on its official website Thursday.
Last year China finished two high-speed railways between Wuhan-Guangzhou and Zhengzhou-Xi'an, with an operating speed of 350 km/h. Before that, China had built high-speed railways between some of its major cities, including Beijing-Tianjin, Shijiazhuang-Taiyuan, Qingdao-Jinan, Hefei-Wuhan and Hefei-Nanjing.
A number of new high-speed railways are being built and will be finished in the coming few years, of which the Beijing-Shanghai line has a length of 1,318 km and a designed travel speed of 350 km/h. Construction of the line started in April 2008 and would finish in around five years. It would cut travel times between the two cities to only five hours from about 12 hours.
China's railway links had expanded to 86,000 kilometers by the end of 2009, the world's second longest only after the United States.
Railway passengers topped a record 1.53 billion last year. Cargo transportation hit 3.32 billion tonnes, according to the ministry.
Railway investment surged 80 percent to 600 billion yuan in 2009 boosted by the 4-trillion yuan stimulus package. The government has planned a record 823.5 billion yuan for 2010 to extend the network to 90,000 kilometers by the end of this year.