From the 10/23/08 BusinessWeek article China’s Great Railway Expansion (emphasis mine):
China is now undertaking the world’s biggest railway expansion since the U.S. laid its transcontinental line in the 1860s. Beijing plans to spend $248 billion through 2020 on 75,000 miles of new track, for both freight and high-speed passenger lines. At that point, China’s high-speed passenger network will likely be the biggest on earth.
Despite these colossal ambitions, a nagging question remains: Can anyone make money from all this? … Analysts at UBS estimate China’s Ministry of Railways, which operates the railroads, has a net profit margin of less than one percent on revenues of about $35 billion.