Beijing–Guangzhou Railway

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Beijing–Guangzhou Railway
China Railways logo
Looking from the Snake Hill to the Tortoise Hill along the railway - P1040888.JPG
The Jingguang Railway on the Snake Hill in Wuhan. In the far background, the railway crosses the Yangtze over the Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge.
Type Heavy rail
System China Railways
Status Active
Termini Beijing West
Stations 53 active
Operator(s) China Railways
Line length 2,324 km (1,444 mi)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Operating speed 150–200 kilometres per hour (93–124 mph)
Route map
to Beijing–Kowloon Railway
Beijing West
Yongding River
to Beijing–Yuanping Railway
to Zhoukoudian–Liulihe Railway
entering Hebei
64 km Zhuozhou
84 km Gaobeidian
to Gaobeidian–Yi County Railway
122 km Xushui County
146 km Baoding
to Baoding–Mancheng County Railway
Shunping County
179 km Wangdu County
206 km Dingzhou
to Shuozhou–Huanghua Railway
239 km Xinle
Zhengding County
to Shijiazhuang–Dezhou Railway
277 km Shijiazhuang
to Shijiazhuang–Taiyuan Railway
309 km Yuanshi County
328 km Gaoyi County
390 km Xingtai
414 km Shahe
to Shahe–Wuji Railway
442 km Handan
to Handan–Changzhi Railway
to Handan–Jinan Railway
to Matou–Cishan Railway
473 km Ci County
entering Henan
to Anyang–Lizhen Railway
502 km Anyang
524 km Tangyin County
to Tangyin–Heshan Railway
543 km Hebi
561 km Qi County
584 km Weihui
609 km Xinxiang
to Xinxiang–Jiaozuo Railway
to Xinxiang–Shijiugang Railway
Wuzhi County
Yellow River
to Longhai Railway
689 km Zhengzhou
to Longhai Railway
to Qi County Railway
753 km Changge
to Xutai Railway
775 km Xuchang
801 km Linying County
to Mengmiao–Baofeng Railway
829 km Luohe
851 km Xiping County
877 km Suiping County
895 km Zhumadian
915 km Queshan County
952 km Minggang
to Nanjing–Xi'an Railway
991 km Xinyang
to Nanjing–Xi'an Railway
entering Hubei
1,056 km Guangshui
to Hankou–Danjiang Railway
1,101 km Huayuan
1,135 km Xiaogan
to Hengdian–Macheng Railway
1,205 km Hankou
to Hankou–Danjiangkou Railway
Yangtze River
to Wuhan–Jiujiang Railway
1,225 km Wuchang
Wuchang South
to Wuhan–Jiujiang Railway
1,305 km Xianning
1,343 km Chibi
entering Hunan
1,398 km Linxiang
1,410 km Lukou
Yueyang North
1,440 km Yueyang
Miluo River
1,509 km Miluo
1,587 km Changsha
to Hunan–Guizhou Railway
1,639 km Zhuzhou
to Zhejiang–Jiangxi Railway
G4 Beijing–Hong Kong–Macau Expressway
1,722 km Mount Heng
1,773 km Hengyang
to Hunan–Guangxi Railway
1,836 km Leiyang
to Zixing–Xujiadong Railway
1,920 km Chenzhou
1,986 km Pingshi
to Pingshi–Muchongcun Railway
entering Guangdong
2,023 km Lechang
2,073 km Shaoguan East
G4 Beijing–Hong Kong–Macau Expressway
2,156 km Yingde
2,267 km Guangzhou North
to Guangdong–Kowloon Railway
Guangzhou West
to Pearl River Bridge Railway

The Beijing–Guangzhou Railway or Jingguang Railway (simplified Chinese: 京广铁路; traditional Chinese: 京廣鐵路; pinyin: Jīngguǎng tiělù) is a major arterial railway that connects Beijing in the north with Guangzhou in the south. This dual-track electrified line has a total length of 2,324 kilometres (1,444 mi) and spans five provinces through north, central and south China. The line passes through the provincial capitals of each of those provinces, namely: Shijiazhuang (Hebei), Zhengzhou (Henan), Wuhan (Hubei), Changsha (Hunan) and Guangzhou (Guangdong). The line's two terminal stations are the Beijing West Railway Station and the Guangzhou Railway Station.


Dazhimen Station in Hankou, the original southern terminal of the Jinghan Railway

The Jingguang Railway was originally two railways: the Beijing–Hankou Railway in the north from Beijing to Hankou, and the Guangdong–Hankou Railway in the south from Wuchang to Guangzhou. Hankou and Wuchang were cities on opposite sides of the Yangtze River that became part of the present city of Wuhan in 1927.

The Beijing–Hankou (Jinghan) Railway, 1,215 km in length, was built from 1897 to 1906.[1] The concession was originally awarded to a Belgian company that was backed by French investors. A strong desire to bring the route under Chinese control led to the formation of the Bank of Communications to secure the financing needed to buy back the railway from its Belgian owners. The successful redemption of the railway in 1909 enhanced the prestige of the Communications Clique, which became a powerful political force in the early Republic.[2]

The Guangdong–Hankou (Yuehan) Railway began construction in 1900 and progressed more slowly.[1] The concession was originally awarded to the American China Development Company, but a diplomatic crisis erupted when the Belgians purchased a controlling interest in the company. The concession was cancelled in 1904 to prevent Franco-Belgian interests from controlling the entire route between Beijing and Guangdong.[2] The Guangzhou–Sanshui branch line was completed in 1904.[3] The Changsha-Zhuzhou section was then completed in 1911, followed by the Guangzhou-Shaoguan section in 1916 and the Wuchang-Changsha section in 1918.[1] Work on the last section between Zhuzhou and Shaoguan began in 1929 and was finally completed in 1936.[1][4]

On 7 February 1923, workers of the Beijing-Wuhan Railway Workers' association launched a massive strike demanding better workers' rights and protesting oppression by warlords. The strike organized by Shi Yang and Lin Xiangqian was an early example of worker mobilization by the Communist Party of China.[5]

Locations served[edit]

A train from Beijing to Guangzhou entering the Huaishuling Tunnel in Fengtai District, Beijing.

From north to south:


The Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge, built in 1957, connected the Beijing-Hankou Railway and Guangzhou-Wuchang Railways to form the Jingguang Railway.

Currently, the nonstop Beijing-Kowloon "Jingjiu" Through Train operates on this line. Prior to 2003, this train called at stops along the route before they were eliminated to create a through service directly from the capital to Hong Kong.

Parallel lines[edit]

The Beijing–Kowloon Railway, completed in 1996, is another "conventional" railway connecting Beijing with the Pearl River Delta. It runs mostly within 100–300 km to the east of the Beijing–Guangzhou Railway.

The Beijing–Guangzhou High-Speed Railway runs through the same major cities as the "original" Beijing–Guangzhou Railway, on a slightly different route (avoiding built-up areas, and having a greater curve radius, for higher speeds and somewhat shorter overall length). In most cities along the line, the high-speed trains will stop at different, purpose-built stations, rather than the older stations served by the "original" Beijing–Guangzhou Railway.[6] The Wuhan to Guangzhou section of the high-speed railway opened in 2009, and the Beijing to Wuhan section opened in 2012.

As consecutive sections of the Beijing–Guangzhou High-Speed Railway become operational, the railway authorities shift a large portion of passenger traffic from the original Beijing–Guangzhou Railway to the new high-speed line. This allows an increase in the amount of freight volume transported over the original Beijing–Guangzhou Railway. For example, according to preliminary estimates, after the entire Beijing–Guangzhou High-Speed Railway opens, the annual freight capacity of the northern half of the Beijing–Guangzhou Railway (between its two main freight stations, Beijing's Fengtai West Station and Wuhan North Railway Station) would increase by 20 million tons.[7]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d (Chinese) "京广铁路" Tieliu 2007-01-08
  2. ^ a b Lee, En-han (1977). China's Quest for Railway Autonomy, 1904-1911: A Study of the Chinese Railway-Rights Recovery Movement. Singapore University Press. 
  3. ^ The Directory & Chronicle for China, Japan, Corea, Indo-China, Straits Settlements, Malay States, Siam, Netherlands India, Borneo, the Philippines, &c. for the Year 1912. The Hongkong Daily Press Office. 1912. p. 1026. Work upon the branch line from Canton to Samshui (about 30 miles) commenced in December, 1902, and a length of ten miles, as far as Fatshan, was opened on November 15, 1903. The line was extended to Samshui the following year. 
  4. ^ "Canton-Hankow Railway". The Sydney Morning Herald. June 9, 1936. English newspapers announce that the last rail has been laid of the railway link between Hankow and Canton. 
  5. ^ "Anniversaries of important events -- Feb. 7 Great Strike"
  6. ^ Hung, Wing-tat; Brunello, Lara; Bunker, Jonathan, Critical Issues of High Speed Rail Development in China (PDF), p. 4 [permanent dead link]
  7. ^ 京广高铁座位分四档 武汉赴京最低约500多元 Archived 22 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine. (Seats on Beijing–Guangzhou High-Speed Railway will come in four classes; lowest Wuhan to Beijing fare around 500 yuan), 2012-12-15 (in Chinese)