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China Seeks to Rein In Ambitious High-Speed Rail Projects

A high-speed train passes through Xi’an, Shaanxi province, on April 29. Photo: VCG
A high-speed train passes through Xi’an, Shaanxi province, on April 29. Photo: VCG

China’s top economic planning agency has set out guidelines for local governments that are building high-speed railway lines and stations after finding a range of problems such as poor locations miles away from city centers and ambitious edifices far too large for their respective purposes.

China is spending 3.5 trillion yuan ($549.5 billion) in its 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) to expand the country’s rail system, with most of the money earmarked for high-speed trains, as the government has promised to link all major cities with populations of more than 500,000 to the network.

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