In late June, at least three people were killed and more than 60 injured in a collision between two passenger trains in central China.

The crash occurred in the city of Chenzhou in Hunan province.

Large network

China's rail network is the busiest in the world in terms of passenger and freight journeys and is the third largest in the world in terms of length of track.

It generally has a good safety record, although last year, at least 72 people were killed and hundreds were injured when a high-speed train jumped its tracks and slammed into another in eastern Shandong province.

The accident was the worst train crash in China since 1997, when 126 were killed in Hunan, Xinhua said.

In 2008 China's state council approved a massive $292bn investment programme to build new rail routes and upgrade the existing rail network to meet increasing demand for freight transport.