Shanghai-Beijing high-speed trains to launch in June
A high-speed rail link connecting China’s two largest cities, Shanghai and Beijing, will open in mid-June 2010, the country’s Ministry of Railways said this week. Reported by the Shanghai Daily, the ministry said that the bullet trains would run at an average speed of 350kph, cutting the journey time between the two cities to less than five hours. Currently, a rail trip on the 1,318km route can take up to 18 hours. The trains will operate between Shanghai’s Hongqiao Railway Station and Beijing’s South Railway Station, running through Tianjin municipality and Hebei, Shandong, Anhui and Jiangsu provinces. The journey time between Jinan, capital of Shandong province, and Beijing will be cut to just 1.5 hours from up to seven hours at present, while the trip to from Jinan to Shanghai will be 3.5 hours, down from as much as 15 hours. Other key stations on the 24-stop line will include Bengbu Station in Anhui province and Xuzhou Station in Jiangsu.
No ticket prices have been announced but they are likely to be significantly less the average CNY1,200 (US$181) cost of air tickets on the Beijing-Shanghai sector. The service will also rival airlines for comfort, with the trains featuring VIP carriages flat-bed sleeper seats and LCD flat-screen TVs. Each train will carry a maximum 1,004 passengers.
The line is reported to have cost CNY220.9 billion, making it the single most expensive infrastructure project in China. The country has pledged to invest CNY700 billion in railway construction in 2011.