Chinese railways has been built (like anywhere else) line, by line to become a wellconnected network, in this huge country which provides the bulk for freight and passenger traffic in Chine. But old lines, often do not match good with modern trains that must compete with highways andairlines.
High speed lines make rail travel fast and reliable and release capacity for freight and regional trains in parallel old lines. Chinese plan is huge with several thousands of kilometers inservice, under construction or planed and the rest of the world will have to thank this huge effort made by Chinese people in order of the petrol saved in case Chinese mobility increase would have behighways or plane based.
Chinese engineers had been upgrading mainline railways, for 160 or 200 km/h operation in the last years, but the first real high speed passenger dedicated line was Beijing-Tianjinopened on time for the Olympics’. Passenger dedicated lines for 350 km/h operation are being built wherever capacity is needed as well as speed and mixed traffic (freight and passengers) wheretraffic density is lower but a new and fast railway is needed.
China has taken best practice from all over high speed railways around the world. New lines are segregated from classic ones often with newstations in the cities following Japanese shinkansen experience. Chinese has taken advantages of best German and Japanese experience in slab (concrete) track. As the result of this, civil works includelarge sections on bridges. Both, Japanese and German built trains, share the fastest services controlled by European railway system (ERTMS) at higher speed anywhere else (350 km/h).
I will “taste”...