China lays tracks for world’s longest high-speed rail line
Published on Nov 16, 2010
Beijing-Shanghai services due to start in 2012…
China has completed laying the tracks for what will become the world’s longest high-speed rail line, connecting the country’s two major economic hubs, Beijing and Shanghai, Xinhua has reported. Construction of the CNY221 billion (US$33 billion), 1,318km line started in April 2008, with the first services due to launch in 2012. Once completed, train travel time between the two cities will be slashed to about four hours, from the current 10 hours. The line will link China’s two important economic zones; the Pan-Bohai Bay area in north China and the Yangtze River Delta region, passing several fast-growing regions, such as Tianjin, Shandong and Jiangsu. China launched its first highspeed line, linking Beijing with Tianjin for the 2008 Olympics. Since then, development has flourished, with high-speed rail links now in place on the Wuhan-Guangzhou line linking central and south China, the Zhengzhou-Xi’an line connecting central and western China, and the Shanghai-Nanjing line in the country’s east. Last month, a 202km high-speed line linking Shanghai and Hangzhou came into operation, extending the nation’s in-service high-speed rail network to 7,431km. The new Beijing-Shanghai service is not good news for everyone however; the country’s major airlines, especially Beijing-based Air China and Shanghai’s China Eastern are expected to be severely impacted by the new rail services.
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