“The hiring of as many as 100,000 workers for each line has kept a lid on unemployment as private-sector construction has slowed because of limits on real estate speculation. The national network has helped to reduce toxic air pollution in Chinese cities and helped to curb demand for imported diesel fuel by freeing up capacity on older rail lines for goods to be carried by freight trains instead of heavily polluting, costlier trucks.”

China Begins Longest Bullet Train Service - NYTimes.com