July 11, 2017
Jamie Bullen, UK Mirror
Astounding footage has captured how China builds its high-speed railways ahead of a planned multi-billion pound expansion.
A video of China Railway Corporation's impressive bridge building machine - known as SL900/32 or 'The Iron Monster' - shows how giant concrete girders are pieced together to speed up construction.
Footage shows how the 580-tonne mega machine, which is able to wheel back and forth on bridges, holds concrete in place as an army of engineers frantically work below to secure the structure.
The machine has 64 wheels, which are spread across four sections of 16, and each section can rotate 90 degrees.
Each machine is capable of building 730 spans in its operating lifetime.
It was used to create the 1,376km high-speed railway connecting Chengdu to Guangzhou, in the south-west of the country.
In February, it was announced China planned to create thousands of miles of new high-speed rail lines this year in a £94bn project.
Under ambitious plans, an extra 2,100 km of new rail line, 2,500 km of double-track lines and 4,000 km of electrified railways will be built this year.
Most of this year's construction projects will happen in China's central and western regions, where the rail networks are considerably lacking compared to the rest of the country.
The vice minister of transport, Yang Yudong, has promised £400billion for the five-year project, between 2016 and 2020, the Xinhua-run Economic Information Daily reported.
By 2020, China will have increased the length of high-speed railways in operation to 30,000km, connecting more than 80 percent of its big cities.
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