China continues to expand its impressive rail network, with the latest addition being a remarkable overwater high-speed train line along the southeastern coast. Showcasing China’s relentless pursuit of advanced transportation infrastructure, the ambitious project connects the cities of Zhangzhou, Xiamen, and Fuzhou, in the Fujian province, featuring bullet trains that will traverse bridges spanning three coastal bays while reaching speeds of up to 350 km/h.
The newly inaugurated 277-kilometer overwater train line witnessed its debut journey on Thursday, September 28th, departing from Fuzhou, the provincial capital, at 9:15 am. The railway marvel comprises 84 bridges, 29 tunnels and is China’s first-ever overwater bullet train, with 20 kilometers of the track traversing the sea.
China Railway Siyuan Survey and Design Group Co Ltd spearheaded the project’s development and design with China Railway. According to the state-owned railway operator, the construction of the overwater sections employed intelligent robots and environmentally friendly corrosion-resistant steel.
High-speed rail has witnessed a meteoric rise in China since the mid-2000s, culminating in the world’s longest and most extensive high-speed rail network by the end of 2022, measuring 42,000 kilometers of tracks.
In 2016, the Chinese government unveiled the “Eight Horizontal and Eight Vertical” rail project, which included the Zhangzhou – Fuzhou overwater high-speed train line as one of its several initiatives. The challenging terrain of Fujian province, characterized by its mountainous landscape, has posed difficulties for ground transportation in the region. The strategic endeavor aims not only to strengthen economic ties but also to streamline travel to the region.