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Outer city line put on fast track

Construction began yesterday on a new high-speed railway that will get commuters from downtown Shanghai to outer suburban Jinshan District in just over half an hour.

The Jinshan New Town Railway is scheduled for completion in 2011.

"It will further speed up development in Jinshan as the project will generate both laboring work and new business opportunities," said Sun Zhang, a professor with the Institute of Railway and Urban Rail Transit of Tongji University.

The railway authority said the trains would make 36 trips daily between Jinshan New Town and Shanghai South Railway Station by 2015.

A single journey will take 30 to 45 minutes with a top speed of 160 kilometers per hour.

When the railway is completed, about 4,000 to 5,000 people are expected to take the trains each day, according to Wang Feng, deputy director of the Shanghai Railway Administration, which is supervising construction work.

The Chinese Ministry of Railways and the Shanghai government will together invest 4.8 billion yuan (US$701.78 million) in the project.

The railway will pass Xuhui, Minhang, and Songjiang districts, ending in Jinshan New City, on the north bank of Hangzhou Bay.

The railway, based on an existing line, will have nine stations along the line.

Residents of Jinshan District have been looking forward to the railway since plans were revealed in 2006.

"It will make it much easier for me to see my daughter studying downtown in a university," said Qian Shuilin, an engineer working and living in Jinshan.

Ticket prices have not yet been decided, according to officials with the Shanghai Railway Administration.

(Shanghai Daily August 13, 2009)