High speed rail in china is having a huge impact, not just in the way people are moving around in the region, but across the economic and urban development of the country as a whole.
In the last decade China has literally gone from zero to hero in terms of high speed rail. From a standing start China now boasts over 20,000km of high speed track, more than the rest of the world combined. With plans to increase this figure to 35,000KM by 2025. This level of investment is already having a positive economic impact, with new developments being created along side the tracks and urban centres blooming around station locations.
China believes these railway towns mirror days gone by, during the rail booms of the 19th century in the UK and United States.
With this level of ambition to new transport initiatives along with a similar level of investment within renewable energy. It is hard to urge that China is leading the way in terms of scale of investment and the rest of the world has a lot to gain from the lessons and best practise which could be developed across such a comprehensive project pipeline.
Less than a decade ago China had yet to connect any of its cities by bullet train. Today, it has 20,000km (12,500 miles) of high-speed rail lines, more than the rest of the world combined. It is planning to lay another 15,000km by 2025 (see map). Just as astonishing is urban growth alongside the tracks. At regular intervals—almost wherever there are stations, even if seemingly in the middle of nowhere—thickets of newly built offices and residential blocks rise from the ground.