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Interview: Will taking BJ-SH high-speed train beat taking the plane?

06-14-2011 08:55 BJT Special Report:Beijing-Shanghai High-speed Rail |

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For more information on the high-speed railway between Beijing and Shanghai, CCTV was joined in the studio by reporter Shen Le.

Q1: The new train line is expected to shorten non-stop trips between the two cities to less than five hours. Ticket prices have also been released. Will taking the train beat taking the plane?

SL: Well, there are basically two factors determining whether to take the train or plane. Number one is price. The lowest fare for the faster train is 555 yuan, which is slightly cheaper than a discount airline ticket. So for the average traveler, taking the train is slightly cheaper than taking the plane. The number two factor is travel time. We're talking about time needed to travel from Point A to Point B. For example, from your home in Beijing to a company's office in Shanghai. One of my friends is a city planner. He tells me if he takes the train, he has to spend about one hour on the subway, to reach Beijing South Railway Station. Checking in will take at least 30 more minutes. After 5 hours, he'll have to make his way out of Shanghai Hongqiao Transit Terminal, and spend another 30 minutes to reach his company's office in the city. That's 7 hours. The same trip takes only 5 hours by plane. So taking the train isn't necessarily faster than flying. It really depends on where you live, especially in big congested cities like Beijing and Shanghai.

Q2: Most of the journeys between Beijing and Shanghai are business trips. Will this high-speed railway mostly cater to the needs of business people?

SL: One of the greatest features for business people, are the on-board wireless networks. This allows travelers to check e-mail, chat with clients on services like MSN or QQ, and stream popular movies. Obviously you can't do any of that on a plane. And better yet, there's a power socket under each and every seat. So you don't have to worry about batteries for smart phones, tablet computers, or Bluetooth ear-pieces. You can take work on the train, finish a Powerpoint file while traveling at 300 km/hour, and do a demonstration upon arriving at your client's meeting room. In addition, there are always the traditional treats ... Making phone calls, wider spaces, and smoother rides. All of these features will definitely make business people think twice before buying their air tickets.

ZY: Indeed, personally, I like the fact that there's nothing stopping me from microblogging on the train. That will be one of my reasons to take the train.

Experiencing BJ-SH high-speed train with CCTV reporter
Connecting China's most vibrant economic zones, the high speed train is indeed catching many people's attention. Maybe you just can't wait to board the train and become the first to feel the rush, but a little disappointed as you have to wait until the end of this month, right? Full Story>>

Studio discussion: Advantages of BJ-SH high-speed train
For more on the Beijing-Shanghai high speed rail line, we're joined in the studio once again by our current affairs commentator, Li Yong, from the China Association of International Trade. Full Story>>

Editor:Shi Jierui |Source: CNTV.CN

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