more than 20 railway transportation lines totaling some 2,000 kilometers are planned for a dozen chinese cities, said officials with the ministry of construction.
railway transportation includes urban express railways, subways, light rails, and trolley cars.
beijing, shanghai, chongqing, wuhan, and changchun are all planning to build such a network to conquer the traffic jams and serious pollution caused by the rapid increase of the urban population and the number of automobiles in china.
the network will have the advantages of cleanliness, security, punctuality, high speed, and large transport capacity, said the officials.
financial and technological factors have hampered the development of such a system over the past three decades, and there are now only about 90 km of underground lines in the country with some 600 subway trains in use.
now, however, beijing alone is planning to build a railway system composed of 13 main routes and two extensions lines totaling 408 km, and increase the railway transport proportion to 50 percent from the present 15 percent, according to local officials.
china's first urban railway line was in beijing and began test operations in october 1969, and the second, in tianjin, was open to traffic in december 1984.