China to increase railway investment by 40% in 2019

China to increase railway investment by 40% in 2019
Illustrative picture. PHOTO CREDIT: Caixin Global

China Railway Corp on Wednesday said 3,200 kilometres of its planned 6,800 kilometres investment in new railway lines in 2019, will be high-speed rail.

This is a 40 percent increase from the 4,683 kilometres new railway lines it invested in last year of which 4,100 were high-speed rail, the company said in a post on its official WeChat account.

China invested ¥802.9 billion ($117.12 billion) in rail fixed assets in 2018, the company added. It had set an initial budget of ¥732 billion in January last year.

It did not give an investment target for 2019.

China has spent billions of dollars in its railway network over the past decade, but there have been signs that this was starting to slow as the network grew and Beijing began to crack down on local government debt. Its 2018 investment target was its lowest since 2013.

However, the government began to speed up investment spending in the second half of last year in a bid to spur growth in the country’s slowing economy by approving new railway projects and reviving suspended ones.