China Opens Beijing – Shanghai High – Speed Rail Line

China today inaugurated the highly-anticipated high-speed rail link between its 2 most important cities, marking a new milestone in the country’s railroad revolution. 2 CRH380B trainsets simultaneously departed from Beijing and Shanghai at 1500 hrs, with the former carrying Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and railroad officials onboard for the maiden journey.


At 1,318 kilometers, the Beijing-Shanghai Passenger-Dedicated Line is the world’s longest high-speed rail line and doubles rail capacity between both cities, with 80 million passengers expected to be carried per year. 22 intermediate stations (Langfang, Tianjin West, Tianjin South, Cangzhou West, Dezhou East, Jinan West, Taian, Qufu East, Tengzhou East, Zaozhuang, Xuzhou East, Suzhou East, Bengbu South, Dingyuan, Chuzhou, Nanjing South, Zhenjiang South, Danyang North, Changzhou North, Wuxi East, Suzhou North and Kunshan South) are situated along the line, which snakes its way through Anhui, Hebei, Jiangsu and Shandong provinces.


Although designed for a maximum speed of 380 kilometers per hour, services will run at 2 speeds, 300 kilometers per hour and 250 kilometers per hour, with the fastest end-to-end journey time taking under 5 hours. The former will run 63 daily services utilizing the CRH380 trainsets, while 27 slower services will be operated daily.


Fares for a one-way journey range from CNY 410 (USD 63) to CNY 1,750 (USD 270), depending on travel class and service speed. 3 travel classes will be offered (2nd Class, 1st Class and a VIP Seat), with 1st Class featuring an airline-style shell seat incorporating a personal screen for in-train entertainment and the VIP Seats allowing forward views and insights into  the driver’s compartment.


The opening of the Beijing-Shanghai Passenger-Dedicated Line further extends China’s high-speed rail network and is expected to benefit travellers with an alternative to flying between both cities. Airfares are expected to fall with the added competition while the airlines’ on-time performance are expected to be improved.


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