China restarts Beijing rail schemes after coronavirus freeze

China has restarted work on Beijing metro and railway projects that were suspended to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the official Xinhua news agency reported today.

Zhou Guanghui, a director of the Beijing Major Projects Construction Headquarters, said the city had resumed 21 rail transit projects with a combined investment value of $4.8bn, including 16 sections of metro lines with a total length of 305km, and five railway projects with a total length of 132km.

Kou Dingtao, a site engineering director on one of the metro schemes, added that 1,500 workers were tested for the virus before they resumed work.

Meanwhile, Korean equipment supplier Doosan Infracore reported that it had received orders for 32 22-tonne excavators from two infrastructure construction companies based in China’s Jilin Province, which borders North Korea, signalling a recovery in activity there.

Doosan announced the contract yesterday, following a marked slowing of coronavirus infection in China. The buyers will use the excavators to build subways, highways and bridges in Changchun city.

An official from the Korean company said: "Demand from the Chinese market is returning to normal following the slowdown in the last two months," adding that it expected to sell 10 more in the near future.

In other signs of a return to normal life, register offices were re-opened in Wuhan, the presumed origin of the outbreak, and children returned to school in Shaanxi Province, in the northwest of the country – with facemasks added to the uniform and body temperature screens to the classrooms.

Image: Line 14 of the Beijing metro (N509FZ/CC BY-SA 4.0)

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