China to build first undersea high-speed railway

China's high-speed train model "Hexie', meaning "harmony" Photo: CNN

China is planning to build its first undersea high-speed railway in the eastern province of Zhejiang, according to a statement published by the local government.

The line will connect Ningbo, a port city south of Shanghai, to Zhoushan, an archipelago off the country's east coast, said the statement. After completion, travelers will spend only 30 minutes shuttling between the two cities by bullet trains that hit a maximum speed of 250 kilometers per hour.

The undersea section, part of the 77-kilometer Yong-Zhou Railway project (Yong is the nickname of Ningbo), will be 16.2 kilometers long, the statement noted.

The government will invest a whopping 25.2 billion yuan ($3 billion) to the project, which is expected to begin next year and is due for completion in 2025, according to the statement.

The project is set to promote the development of local economy and help Zhoushan and Ningbo play their part in the Belt and Road Initiative, a development strategy adopted by the Chinese government involving infrastructure development and investments in European, Asian, and African countries, said the statement.

China boasts the world's largest high-speed railway network, which measures 25,000 kilometers as of the end of 2017, according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency. The distance is more than 60 percent of the world's total.

The country's total railway coverage is 127,000 kilometers, enough to wrap the earth three times by the equator, Xinhua reported.

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