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China starts maintenance on key coal rail line, keeps freight high

SINGAPORE : China State Railway Group has started maintenance at a key coal transport line in northern China to ensure safe and stable deliveries during the winter, state news agency Xinhua reported on Wednesday.

The maintenance of the 653 kilometre (406 mile) Datong-Qinhuangdao line started on Oct 4 and will end on Oct 28 and the state rail operator aims to keep daily transport volume at one million tonnes during the repair period, Xinhua said.

Some 20,000 workers were dispatched to conduct the maintenance.

China's first electric double rail line, it connects the coal-producing hub of Datong in Shanxi province with Qinhuangdao, a top coal trading hub in Hebei province.

Between July and September more than 100 million tonnes of coal were moved over the trunk line to meet peak summer demand.

China is scrambling to ease a power crunch stemming from a coal shortage.

On Tuesday the China State Railway Group pledged to allot more freight capacity to ensure coal inventories sufficient for 14.4 days of use at 363 power plants with direct rail access.

(Reporting by Chen Aizhu; editing by Jason Neely)

Source: Reuters

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