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To learn more about the high-speed railway between Beijing and Shanghai, let's turn to my colleague Shen Le, who is quite enthusiastic about anything that has an engine.
High-speed railway unlocks new lifestyles
1. Good evening Shen Le, what's so special about the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway?
Well, this is China's first high-speed railway to connect the two major economic zones, The Bohai Bay Economic Rim to the north and the Yangtze River Delta economic zone to the east. The rolling stock will be CRH trains, China's answer to Japanese bullet trains, only they are faster.
The average commercial speed of the CRH trains is 350 kilometers per hour. That's faster than a Formula one racing car, faster than a helicopter and even faster than Tom Cruise when he was fighting bad guys on top of a high speed TGV train.
This speed makes substantial difference. It cuts the current travel time by train from 11 hours to less than 4 hours between the two cities. That means, if you set off early in the morning in Beijing, you may have lunch at the World Expo Park in Shanghai and then head back just in time for supper.
Advantage of high-speed railway
2. But in the world of motoring, if you want more speed, you've got to have more horsepower, and that means higher bills at the pump. That leads to an important question: are CRH trains energy efficient?
The CRH trains use electricity, so the trains are absolutely emission free. A single train is capable of carrying more than one thousand passengers. As a result, the power consumption per person is much lower than other means of transportation. If we define the energy consumption per person on a CRH train as one energon, then each passenger travelling in a car would use 5 energons over the same distance.
In a bus, it's 2 energons. And in an airplane, each person uses 7 energons for the same distance covered. Given China's large population, high-speed trains will increase the efficiency of energy consumption and provide a faster means for inter-city travelling.
Thank you Shen Le for that information. Hopefully in the near future, the high-speed railway network will make it easier to traverse the vast landscape in China and bring people closer.