Australian media reports:

China will invest nearly $A445 billion (US$ 280 billion) in its overburdened rail system as a stimulus measure aimed at blunting the impact of the global financial crisis.

The investment is part of plans to extend the country’s railway network from the current roughly 125,502km to nearly 160,900km by 2010, Shanghai’s Oriental Morning Post reported.

The Beijing News quoted a rail official as saying that, while the network needed extending, the massive investment was also intended to help lift the nation’s economy as it suffers amid the global woes.

“New rail investment will become a shining light in efforts to push forward economic growth,” railway ministry spokesman Wang Yongping said.

I hope Democrats in Congress are paying attention. Yes, spending money on roads and bridges may be a faster stimulus package, but this country needs to make the transition to greater rail-based transit. Seems like we may be able to learn a thing or two from the Middle Kingdom.

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