According to a report in China Daily, work on the project is expected to start before the end of the year. With a speed of up to 350 km per hour, the railway will shorten travel time between Beijing and Shanghai from the current 10 hours to less than five.
The project has been on the drawing board for more than a decade with work expected to begin last year and be operational by 2010 but was postponed, the report said.
According to sources, it said the central government wanted to act cautiously on such a high-cost project.
The railway ministry’s initial estimation of 130 billion yuan (US$17.3 billion) would not be enough and is now likely to exceed 170 billion yuan because of rising real estate prices and resettlement costs, the Daily said.