China Railways - 中国铁路, Zhongguo Tielu
China Railways in Chinese: 中国铁路, Zhongguo Tielu, is the national railway operator of the People's Republic of China, under the Chinese Ministry of Railways.
China Railways operates rail commuter and freight transport via several smaller companies.
China Railways has its own police force and court system, which is unique among the world's railways.
Rail transport is the most commonly used mode of long-distance transportation in the People's Republic of China. Almost all rail operations are handled by the Ministry of Railways, which is part of the State Council of the People's Republic of China. By the end of 2010, the operating rail network traverses the length and breadth of the country, covering a total length of 91,000 km (56,545 mi), making only the rail networks in the United States and Russia larger in size. However, China's 961.23 billion passenger-km and 2,947 billion tonne-kilometers of freight (both as of 2011) exceeds respective volumes of the US and Russia and are the highest in the world. On a global basis, China's rail transport volume is world's largest, having six percent of the world's operating railways, but carrying 25 percent of the world's total railway workload. China's overall density of operations – here the standard measure is (freight ton-kilometers + passenger-kilometers)/length of track is the highest in the world. China also leads in terms of the growth rate of transport volume and use of transport equipment. The network today serves all provinces, with the exception of the special administrative region of Macau.
As of October 2008, the Chinese State Council approved a new CNY 2 trillion (US$ 292 billion) railway investment plan to take it up to 2020. The scheme extends China's previously announced railway building program, which was allocated CNY 1.25 trillion (US$ 182 billion) in the Eleventh Five-Year Plan for 2006 to 2010. As a result of the increased investment, the country's railway network has grown from 78,000 km at the end of 2007 to 91,000 km at the end of 2010, and is expected to grow to 110,000 km by the end of 2012. Growth in freight transport is thought to be one of the drivers behind the increased focus on rail, and the need to increase capacity to meet rising demand.