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Chinese Railways in the Era of High-Speed

Chinese Railways in the Era of High-Speed.


Zhenhua Chen, University of Southern California
Kingsley E. Haynes, George Mason University, USA


The Chinese railway system has experienced a rapid evolution since 2004. With a massive investment in railway infrastructure over the decade, the Chinese national railway system has evolved into an era of high-speed. While the completed system begins to benefit its society and economy, the fast pace of high-speed rail technology deployment has outstripped the capacity of institutions and organizations to manage high-speed rail development on a scale that is beyond anything the world has seen to date.

  • What experiences and lessons can we learn in the process of China high-speed rail development?
  • What are the opportunities and challenges the system faces?
  • In the era of high-speed, what changes have been made in the Chinese economy and society?
  • What are the best practices that can be learned from international high-speed rail evolutions and how should the Chinese policy makers proceed to make the system efficient and effective?


This book has two objectives. The first is to introduce the Chinese railway system to an international audience and document the evolutionary process of railway development in China. For the first time, this book clarifies the Chinese experience with HSR deployment and details the economic and physical achievements and related managerial issues and institutional challenges.

The second objective is to discuss and analyze critical concerns regarding Chinese railway operations, management and institutional structure. This book analyses best practices of railway reform, reform strategies and considers how to improve China's related institutions. This research reflects on experiences in other countries and policy implications for the Chinese railway system. The book makes recommendations for how to improve the capability and capacity of institutions and organizations, in order to achieve sustainable development of the Chinese HSR system.

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Railway professionals and policy makers; researchers of railway system construction and system design; scholars in transportation planning and policy, social policy, Asian Studies; railway enthusiasts.


"Reading this book by Chen and Haynes is an absolute delight. It offers an informed, non-technical exposition on one of the great miracles in China, the design and operation of an extensive network of high-speed railway connections. Not only the advanced railway technology is amazing, but also the effective institutional and spatial embeddedness of this new system. As a consequence, China is 'getting smaller' all the time. This book is an invaluable source of new insights. It should be on the 'to do' list of both practitioners and academics in the field, not in the last place because this opus positions the Chinese high-speed railway system against the background of railway dynamics in other countries."

Peter Nijkamp, VU University Amsterdam 

"Masterpiece on incredibly rapid deployment of High-Speed Rail network system in China. Experienced economical and societal impacts are examined especially with hot topic of regional disparity and equity. Not technical in the international competitive market but managerial and institutional issues inherent to the last fortress of the planned economy are examined in proactive as well as retrospective way with expert aplomb. Useful and informative for scholars in related fields as well as leaders who face promotion of institutional reform in a phase of rapid evolution."

Yoshiro Higano, Tsukuba University, Japan

Book Information

ISBN Print: 9781784419851
ISBN Electronic: 9781784419844
Publication Date: 20 July 2015
Format print: Hardback
Page count: 250
Dimensions: 165 x 240
Audience: Professional and Scholarly

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About the Author(s)

Dr. Zhenhua Chen is a postdoctoral research associate at Price School of Public Policy at University of Southern California. Before his postdoc, Dr. Chen received his PhD in Public Policy at George Mason University, a MA in Regional Economics from the College of Economics at Shenzhen University in China. His research interest focuses on both China and the United States covering fields of economic geography, regional science, transportation planning .... read more

Kingsley E. Haynes is a world-renown scholar in regional economic development and infrastructure. He also holds appointments in the departments of Decision Sciences, Geography and Public Affairs. Dr. Haynes has been involved in regional economic development, infrastructure, environmental planning and natural resource management since the early 1970s. He has ..... read more


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