Zhengzhou's position as the crossroads of China makes it a busy link for transportation networks by rail, road and air
City's strategic location makes it a busy link for rail, road and air networks. Reports byWade Shepard
Throughout its history, Zhengzhou has been a great crossroads of China. Throughout successive dynasties and periods, the city has served as a kinetic commercial and cultural hub - a status that hasn't changed to this day.
The reason for Zhengzhou's prominent economic role has always been the same: location. The city is located in the heart of China's central plains, with Beijing to the north, Shanghai to the east, Guangzhou to the south and Xian to the west.
Today, Zhengzhou sits within 500km of over 400 million people and 30 per cent of China's GDP, and functions as a pre-eminent logistical hub for rail, road and air transport.
"Zhengzhou really is strategically located in the true economic centre [of China]. The geographic centre would be to the west, but the economic power is still the coastal areas," says John Kasarda, chief adviser to the Zhengzhou Airport Economic Zone.
Zhengzhou is a junction for multiple major passenger and cargo rail lines. It is where the Beijing-Guangzhou Railway and Lianyungang-Lanzhou Railway intersect. They cross through Zhengzhou Railway Station, which is often called the heart of China's rail network due to its central location and the fact that it is one of the mainland's busiest stations, serving 150,000 passengers with 330 trains daily.
The city is also the meeting point for the Beijing-Guangzhou and Xuzhou-Lanzhou high-speed rail lines, which come together at Zhengzhou East Station, the third-largest high-speed rail station in Asia.
Passengers can get from Zhengzhou to Beijing, Wuhan and Xian within 2.5 hours, and Shanghai is just four hours away. In all, over 350 million people live within two hours of Zhengzhou by high-speed train.
Zhengzhou is also a major hub for cargo trains. Zhengzhou East Station is China's largest part-load trans-shipment station, while with over 500 trains entering and exiting daily, Zhengzhou Northern Railway Station is the mainland's busiest marshalling yard.
Zhengzhou is also a major crossroads on China's national highway system, linking it with every other big city on the mainland. It is the place where China's longest expressway, the Lianhuo, which crosses the country from east to west from the coast at Lianyuang to the Kazakhstan border at Horgos, intersects with the Jingzhu Expressway, which runs north to south from Beijing to Hong Kong and Macau.
Zhengzhou is also linked to National Highways 107 and 310. It is possible to drive from Zhengzhou to places such as Kaifeng, Jiaozuo and Luoyang within an hour.
Much of Zhengzhou's extensive transport network is tied together at the Xinzheng International Airport comprehensive transportation hub.
This is the largest air-ground multimodal transport railway station in Asia, and is where the city's airport, metro, high-speed rail lines, long-distance passenger trains, intercity bus, intercity rail and highway system seamlessly join together.