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China launches Beijing-Shanghai line

07-01-2011 14:07 BJT Special Report:Beijing-Shanghai High-speed Rail |

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The High speed train service between Beijing and Shanghai has begun. Premier Wen Jiabao attended the launch ceremony and was on board for the train's first journey Thursday.

During the brief launch ceremony, Premier Wen Jiabao spoke highly of the construction staff who completed the link in just 38 months. He also stressed the significance of the new link.

Wen Jiabao said, "China's railway has undergone massive development in recent years. Our aim is to build a modern transport system, which is safe, convenient, efficient and green. We shall stick to scientific planning, optimize transport resources and boost overall efficiency. And we should always put quality first. "

The first bullet trains rolled out of Beijing South and Shanghai Hongqiao stations at three pm sharp.

With luxurious seating, spacious and quiet cabins, and smiling attendants, the new line offers a much more pleasant journey than older trains.

In total, thirteen trains operated between Beijing and Shanghai on the inaugural day. Tickets for the maiden trip sold out in a mere 15 minutes.

A passenger said, "I am excited to try out the new service. I think the high speed service is rather convenient.It saves me the hassle of driving to the airport, or waiting in the long queue for security checks. I have bought a second class seat, for 555 yuan. The fare is acceptable as well."

Travelling at 300 kilometers per hour, the new service cuts the journey time between the Chinese capital and the commercial hub in half to under five hours. The 1,318 kilometer line brings China's network of high-speed train routes to a total of 8,300 kilometers, the world's longest.

When the new line opens fully, there will be 140 departures and arrivals everyday, with a passenger capacity of 200,000.

Xu Shenggang, director of Beijing South Railway Station, said, "The Beijing South Railway Station is taking measures to accommodate the massive crowds. For example, we have installed more manual and automatic ticket vending machines, along with more fare collection gates to ease the flow. The railway authority is also working on an express link which will connect Beijing south railway station to the international airport."

By cutting travel time between Chinese cities, the high speed rail service is predicted to spur trade, promote tourism, and facilitate economic development. Ordinary commuters will benefit from the efficient network, and find that after all, their hometowns, are not that far away.


Editor:Liu Fang |Source: CNTV.CN

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