Railway investment is growing strongly. In the first quarter, the national railway fixed asset investment, especially the railway infrastructure investment, was over-completed, and the investment amount reached a record high for the same period in history.
In the first quarter, the national railway fixed asset investment completed 106.5 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 3.1%. This is the highest investment in the first quarter since the revocation of the Ministry of Railways in 2013, and it is also the extreme value of railway investment in the last quarter in history. Among them, the investment in March this year was 502 100 million yuan, a year-on-year increase of 6.79%. China National Railway Group Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “National Railway Group”) released data on April 9, showing the above information.
In the first quarter, 447 kilometers of new railway lines were opened, including 233 kilometers of high-speed railways, which completed 13.55% and 16.64% of the planned target value for the year respectively. By the end of 2021, the national railway operating mileage exceeded 150,000 kilometers, of which more than 40,000 kilometers were high-speed rail.
The railway investment in the first quarter broke the 100 billion yuan mark in 2019, reaching 101.191 billion yuan. In 2020, due to the outbreak of the new crown epidemic, investment in the first quarter dropped rapidly to only 79.930 billion yuan; in the first quarter of 2021, railway investment rose again, reaching 103.311 billion yuan, the second highest in history.
The National Railway Group said that the next step will be to implement the “14th Five-Year Plan” outline of the railway, highlighting the shortcomings, strengths and weaknesses, and heavy support, and arrange construction resources in the order of “guaranteing the opening, ensuring the construction, and ensuring the start of construction”. The investment tasks of equipment purchase and renovation and transformation will be implemented, and the planning and construction of key projects such as the Sichuan-Tibet Railway and the high-speed railway along the river and the coast will be promoted with high quality, so as to ensure the completion of the annual fixed asset investment task.
“This year, the railway department will coordinate and promote the implementation of key projects and complete as many investment tasks and physical workloads as possible.” A person from the China Railway Group told a reporter from China Business News.
In 2021, the national railway will complete a fixed asset investment of 748.9 billion yuan, a year-on-year decrease of 4.22%, the lowest in eight years. The China Railway Group did not announce the target value of railway investment in 2022, but the market generally believed that the railway construction intensity in 2022 will still operate at a low level.
According to statistics, from 2019 to 2021, the mileage of railways and high-speed railways in China will be 8,489 kilometers, 5,474 kilometers, 4,933 kilometers, 2,900 kilometers, 4,208 kilometers, and 2,168 kilometers, respectively. Lu Dongfu, chairman of China National Railway Group, said at the 2022 full-rail working conference that the railway plans to put into operation more than 3,300 kilometers of new lines in 2022, including about 1,400 kilometers of high-speed railways. It is not difficult to see that the mileage of railways and high-speed railways has been declining for four consecutive years.
In terms of railway transportation, the current growth rate of railway freight volume is accelerating. In the first quarter, the national railway completed a total of 948 million tons of goods, a year-on-year increase of 2.71%, of which 333 million tons were sent in March, a year-on-year increase of 7.42%.
With the rapid growth of railway freight volume in March, the growth rate of national railway freight volume in the first quarter has exceeded the target value of the annual plan. In 2022, the national railway freight volume target is 3.804 billion tons, an increase of 2.1%, and 24.92% of the annual plan is completed in the first quarter.
The peak of annual railway investment occurred in 2010, when railway fixed asset investment reached 842.652 billion yuan. From 2011 to 2019, 590.609 billion yuan, 630.980 billion yuan, 663.8 billion yuan, 808.8 billion yuan, 823.8 billion yuan, 801.5 billion yuan, 801 billion yuan, 802.8 billion yuan and 802.9 billion yuan were completed respectively. In 2020, railway investment fell below 800 billion yuan for the first time, reaching 781.9 billion yuan.