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The panda now arriving on platform one is the 2021 service from Chongqing

(ATF) China is expected to see its first panda-themed tourist train go into service this year.

The novel concept, which comprises carriages fitted with mobile hotels, games parlours and bars, is expected to go into operation in Chongqing, the city of 30 million in south-western Sichuan province.

Passengers can travel in premium soft sleeper cabins on the panda-themed carriages, Hualong.com reports. If successful Panda trains may become common throughout China.

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China Daily reported last month that a trial run of a panda service began in the province’s capital Chengdu, linking it with Zunyi in Guizhou province. The report said the train featured sing-alongs and tea parties for kids, long-sight viewing tables and shower facilities.

The rail service is one of several large-scale infrastructure projects recently announced in China. The nation is pressing ahead with huge public works projects as part of plans funded by trillions of yuan of debt sales to help regions recover from last year’s coronavirus downturn.

Wind farm

Further south, the Jinwan Offshore Wind Farm is now operational and provides an estimated 800 million kilowatt-hours of clean electricity every year. 

It’s the first large-capacity offshore wind farm project in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area. It’s expected to meet the annual electricity demand of nearly one million residents of Zhuhai City.

The Jinwan project is expected to save about 230,000 tons of standard coal consumption every year and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 460,000 tons, according to paper.cn.

And in Beijing, the capital’s Municipal Office of Major Projects has announced progress in the development of a sprawling new subway system that will see 291.3km of track laid. 

The first seven of 15 new lines under construction are planned to be operating by the end of the year, adding 54.5km to the network. 

More rail transit lines are opening this year than in any other. At present, all subways under construction are steadily advancing on target and 20.4% of the total investment for the year has been completed, according to China Youth daily reports. Officials described this as a “good start”.

The maximum operating speeds of the subways will be 120km/h, China Youth Daily reported.

Chris Gill

With over 30 years reporting on China, Gill offers a daily digest of what is happening in the PRC.

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