Monday, September 21, 2020


The first Chinese Railway train was operated in 1876, from Shanghai to Woosung (15 miles) nearly a quarter of a century after the first train in India was run in April 1853 between Bori Bunder and Thane (21miles) 

In 1945, China had 27,000 km of rail, of track. In 1947, when India got independence, India had 53596 Route kms of track- thanks to the British! Net, China had just about ½ the route KMS of India in the mid- 1940s. And that too for a much larger area. 

Chinese Railways has 139,000 KMS, overtaking India sometime in the mid 1990s making only the rail networks in the USA and Russia larger in size. China has 35,000KMS High Speed Rail Network, longest HSR network in the world. Double track 83,000KMS, Electrified 100,000 KMS. The total track length is 154,600 km. 

On a global basis, China’s rail transport volume is one of the worlds largest, having six percent of the world’s operating railways, and carrying 25 percent of the world’s total railway workload. 

China regularly runs heavy-haul freight transportation speed limit to 120 km/h. The highest speed notched up for a freight train, on the Indian Railways is 100 km/h (62 mph) for a 4,700 metric tonne load. 

The Chinese Government plans to spend 15 lakh crore rupees over 10 years. This translates to Rs 1.5 lakh crore per year spent on the Chinese Railways for Capital Expenditure. In contrast the Indian Railways spends just a quarter (1/4) of what the Chinese Railways spends. 

The Chinese Railways depended on steam locomotives till the 21st century while India phased out their steam locomotives ahead of the Chinese in 1990s. In December 2005, the world’s last regular revenue mainline steam train finished its journey on the Jitong Railway marking the end of steam era. Nevertheless, there are still some steam locomotives used in the industrial railways in China. 

The Chinese Railways are organized in a more modern and business-like manner. Five major railway corporations — one each for rolling stock, railway construction, goods and materials, civil engineering, signalling and telecommunications — have been separated from transport enterprises and made autonomous, although state-owned. A number of passenger and freight transport companies have been created to operate on a competitive basis. These enterprises will finally be regrouped into three to five larger, separate companies. 

The government has encouraged local authorities to build and operate their own railways up to 2,000 km. By the end of 1999, there were approximately 75 local railways with a total route-length of 4,800 km. About 20 more such projects, totalling 1,800 km, are under construction. 

Employees Chinese Railways employs 3.18 million people while the Indian Railways has employs 1.3 million employees. 

China mulls expanding railways network to 200,000 km by 2035-end, including about 70,000 km of high-speed railway 


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