In 1992, the PRC had the lowest road density in the world relative to area or population. Its railways were experiencing severe capacity bottlenecks.
Between 1997 and 2005, the road network of the PRC grew from 1.23 million km to 1.93 million km. This involved construction of a national trunk highway system and an arterial road network composed mainly of expressways. The railway network grew from 65,970 km to 75,438 km, while capacity was augmented by double?tracking and electrification. Investment in both transport modes featured modern technologies, project management methods, and steady reform of subsector policies and institutional arrangements including greater commercial orientation and new approaches to cost recovery.
Roads and railways absorbed 27 of the 58 ADB loans to the PRC approved in 1997–2005.