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A five-year plan recently approved by China’s cabinet, The State Council, will see the creation of a high-speed network consisting of four east-west rail lines and four north-south linkes by the end of 2015.

The Minister of Railways told Xinhua that some 18,000km of high-speed rail lines will be operational by the time the work is finished, compared with 6,894km last month.

Putting passenger and freight on separate tracks will greatly increase traffic volume,” said Wang, who is also an academic at the Chinese Academy of Engineering.