Five times as many passengers using China’s HSR network than in 2008

Passenger growth on China’s high-speed rail network does justify the level of investment being made with annual passenger numbers rising from 128 million in 2008 to 672 million in 2013, a new report by the World Bank has suggested.

More than 2.9 billion passengers have travelled across China by high-speed train since April 2007 and in 2013, China’s high-speed rail network recorded 214 billion passenger kilometres – more than the rest of the world put together.

The report – High-Speed Railways in China: A Look at Traffic – seems to suggest that China’s substantial investment in high-speed rail over the past decade is being justified by the system’s increasing patronage.

The research also looks the types of passengers using high-speed trains in China and how passengers travel habits are changing because of the introduction of new high-speed routes.

Gerald Ollivier, a World Bank senior transport specialist and co-author of the paper, said: “Understanding and addressing passenger needs are critical to achieving the full impact of the high-speed rail network.

“While initial results are encouraging, high-speed rail remains a major investment that requires high traffic density to be justified economically and financially.”

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