China plans first undersea tunnel for high-speed trains

China plans its first undersea high-speed railway tunnel at 10 miles long

  • Passage is part of a new £4.5 billion railway project in Zhejiang, eastern China
  • Trains will travel at 155mph under the East Sea between Ningbo and Zhoushan
  • Beijing is currently studying the feasibility of the plan, according to local media
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China is planning to build its first undersea high-speed railway tunnel.

The underwater passage will be 16.2 kilometres (10 miles) long and support trains that operate at the speed of 250 kilometres per hour (155 miles per hour), according to a plan which is under evaluation by Beijing. 

The underwater high-speed railway is part of a new 40 billion yuan (£4.5 billion) train line, the Yong-Zhou Railway. It is set to connect the cities of Ningbo and Zhoushan in Zhejiang province.

China is planning to build a tunnel under the East Sea for high-speed trains (file photo)

The passage will be 16.2 kilometres (10 miles) long and trains will travel at 250 kilometres per hour (155 miles per hour), according to a plan which is under evaluation by Beijing (file photo)

The undersea tunnel will link the Beilun District of Ningbo with the Jintang Island of Zhoushan

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The tunnel will run under the East Sea and link the Beilun District of Ningbo with the Jintang Island of Zhoushan.

The Yong-Zhou Railway is set to be a rail-road project, which will facilitate high-speed trains as well as vehicles, according to Zhejiang News citing a statement from the Ningbo government. 

The traffic link will be 77 kilometres (48 miles) long and have seven stations. Trains and cars will travel across the sea in two separate tunnels – both to be constructed.

The railway is expected to shorten the travel time between Ningbo and Zhoushan from around an hour and a half to just 30 minutes.

The report said experts were currently studying the feasibility of the construction plan. A recent discussion was held in Beijing and experts were positive about the project.

The £4.5 billion railway connects Ningbo, the second largest city in Zhejiang, with Zhoushan. Pictured, passengers carrying wait for trains at Ningbo Railway Station on January 30, 2016

Built on an archipelago, the city of Zhoushan (pictured) is renowned for its fishing industry

The news comes just a month after China opened the world’s longest sea-crossing bridge, which runs 55 kilometres (34 miles) and includes a 6.7-kilometre (four-mile) undersea tunnel.

Earlier this month, Chinese workers finished building a tunnel under the Yellow Sea for subway trains and it reached as deep as 88 metres (288 feet). The passage is about 100 feet deeper than the Bosphorus rail tunnel in Istanbul, which is said to be the world’s deepest underwater railway tunnel.

China has more than half of the world’s high-speed railways

Passengers board a ‘Fuxing’ high speed bullet train on Beijing-Shanghai high speed railway line before it leaves the Cangnan railway station on November 20, 2017

China has the world’s largest high-speed railway network, which measures a staggering 25,000 kilometres (15,534 miles) as of the end of 2017, according to Xinhua News Agency.

The distance is more than 60 per cent of the world’s total.

The country’s total railway coverage is 127,000 kilometres (78,918 miles), enough to wrap the Earth three times by the Equator.

China is investing heavily on the construction of its rail system. 

It plans to spend no less than 2.8 trillion yuan (£307 billion) building no less than 23,000 kilometres (14,291 miles) of new railways between 2016 and 2020, according to a government plan. 

Xinhua also reported that Beijing completed its largest ever investment in railway construction between 2013 and 2017.

Nearly 30,000 kilometres (18,641 miles) of tracks, more than half of which are high-speed rail, were complete at a total cost of 3.9 trillion yuan (£428 billion). 

The country’s newest high-speed train model is ‘Fuxing’, or ‘Rejuvenation’, which runs at a speed of 350 kilometres (217 miles) an hour.

The model prior to ‘Fuxing’ is called ‘Hexie’, meaning harmony.

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