China Approves  Billion Jing-Jin-Ji Megacity Rail Plan

China Approves $36 Billion Jing-Jin-Ji Megacity Rail Plan

In Glidex®, Rail & Mass Transit, Rail Lubrication by Eric Vantiegham

The proposed megacity will link three massive regions, 110 million people, and 82,000 square miles.

China’s plans to build a megacity are proceeding full steam ahead, as the country has approved a $36 billion rail plan to connect Beijing, the port city of Tianjin, and the neighboring province of Hebei. The plan is comprised of nine projects that will create 1,100 km (683 miles) of track, set to be completed by 2020 and part of a larger construction plan that will stretch through 2030.

Building a Megacity

The megacity is called Jing-Jin-Ji — Jing for Beijing, Jin for Tianjin, and Ji, the traditional name of Hebei. China hopes the planned metropolis, covering 82,000 square miles, will revitalize the Northern Chinese economy. “The supercity is the vanguard of economic reform,” said Nankai University Professor Liu Gang. “It reflects the senior leadership’s views on the need for integration, innovation, and environmental protection.”

In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed a plan for national economic reform, laying out specific roles for each region of Jing-Jin-Ji. Beijing will focus on culture and technology, while Tianjin will become a research base for manufacturing. Though Hebei’s role has remained largely undefined, it will play host to certain minor industries that will be transferred out of Beijing, such as wholesale textiles.

Tianjin serves as the economic center of Northern China, with its Binhai New Area representing the most prominent areas of growth. The region contains the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area, the Port of Tianjin — one of the world’s busiest ports — as well as the $30 billion Yujiapu business district.

The concept of a “megacity” may conjure images of sprawling urban landscapes with skyscrapers as far as the eye can see, but this will not be case for Jing-Jin-Ji. Instead, the city clusters will be connected by high-speed trains, with plenty of green space and rural areas in between. Improvements in infrastructure have already reduced travel time across the 105 miles separating Beijing and Binahi to under an hour.

“It was not possible to go all the way from Beijing to Binghai, and that’s a one-hour trip now. It’s now also possible to go between Tianjin and Tangshan in less than 30 minutes, which was previously several hours’ drive,” said Steven McCord, Research Head at the real estate service firm Jones Lang LaSalle.

The market has responded well to the recently approved plans, with some of China’s largest construction firms seeing their stocks skyrocket. Stock prices for China State Construction Engineering Corp. rose 10%, with China Communications Construction Co. seeing a 6.5% rise, China Railway Construction Corp. logging a 5.5% rise, and China Railway Group Ltd. netting a 4% uptick.

Maintaining China’s Railways

Currently, China has over 12,000 miles of passenger rail that service the world’s largest ridership. Safety is paramount when taking people from point A to point B, and Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc. understands that proper rail maintenance maximizes safety and keeps trains running on schedule.

That’s why we offer an array of patented rail switch lubrication products, such as Glidex®, which increases the lifespan of railroad switches, slide plates, throw rods, movable bridges, overhead crane rails, and couplers. This specially formulated switch lubricant can be applied with Midwest’s Switch Treators® in even the harshest of conditions (tested at -40ºF) to provide a barrier that keeps metal components lubricated and prevents ice from forming.

What makes this product stand out from the rest? It is environmentally-friendly, biodegradable, and non-corrosive, meaning your operation can continue to run smoothly without impacting operators, passengers, or the surrounding community.

Eric Vantiegham is Midwest’s Rail & Transit Specialist. Skilled in product development, new business development, and strategic planning, he enjoys playing ice hockey and coaching his boys' youth teams.