A 36-km bridge spanning Hangzhou Bay was opened in 2008 as a shortcut linking Shanghai to Ningbo. Photo: Xinhua

Shanghai is looking to build what has been called a “one-hour living circle” that connects the coastal areas of Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces via a new high-speed railway.

The proposed railway will start in Nantong and go southward to Suzhou, both in Jiangsu province, then to Jiaxing in Zhejiang province and cross Hangzhou Bay to Ningbo, Zhejiang Online reported.

In late May, a marine survey of Hangzhou Bay for a cross-sea railway was started and this section will be included in the new Nantong-Suzhou-Jiaxing-Ningbo Railway, thepaper.cn reported.

The new railway with a planned speed of 350km per hour could help Shanghai to connect the cities and form the “one-hour living circle” in the Yangtze River Delta Economic Zone.

Travelers could enjoy a shorter traveling time to commute between the five cites, making it convenient for working people. For example, when the railway construction is finished, it would only take one hour to go to Shanghai from Ningbo, 50 minutes less than the current commute.

Meanwhile, at least two cities that the new railway will link recorded a trillion yuan in regional GDP.

In 2018, Suzhou’s GDP hit 1.85 trillion yuan, while Ningbo had 1.07 trillion yuan, figures from the National Bureau of Statistics showed. Nantong recorded 842.7 billion yuan in regional GDP and ranked fourth in Jiangsu province. Jiaxing’s GDP was recorded at 487.1 billion yuan last year.

Suzhou, in the meantime, will also be getting an extra bonus from the construction of the new railway. Construction is due to start later this year.

The city government is going to turn Suzhou North Railway Station district into a new city for innovation and the R&D industry as the station links the new Nantong-Suzhou-Jiaxing-Ningbo railway and the Beijing-Shanghai High-speed Railway.

Read more:

Green light for undersea tunnel linking two industrial hubs

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