All aboard!

First high-speed rail­way in In­ner Mon­go­lia opens amid fan­fare

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By YUAN HUI in Ho­hhot and LUO WANGSHU in Bei­jing Con­tact the writ­ers at lu­owang­shu@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The first high-speed rail­way in the In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion was opened on Thurs­day.

Ac­cord­ing to China Rail­way Corp, the na­tional rail­way op­er­a­tor, the new line has re­duced the fastest rail jour­ney be­tween Ulan­qab and Ho­hhot, the cap­i­tal, from 56 min­utes to 39 min­utes. The cheap­est ticket costs 44 yuan ($6.7).

The bul­let train runs at 250 kilo­me­ters per hour. Ten bul­let train ser­vices are sched­uled daily.

The new 126-km line will be part of a 286.8-km high-speed rail­way that will con­nect Ho­hhot with Zhangji­akou, co-host of the 2022 Olympic Win­ter Games, in He­bei prov­ince.

The fin­ished rail­way, with a de­signed speed of 250 km/h, will be a ma­jor artery in North China upon its com­ple­tion.

It is ex­pected to be fin­ished and put into ser­vice next year. At that time, the Zhangji­akou-Ho­hhot high-speed rail will be con­nected to the Bei­jing-Zhangji­akou rail­way, which is cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion. Travel time from Ho­hhot to Bei­jing will be re­duced from an av­er­age nine hours to less than three hours.

Last year, China’s high-speed net­work reached 22,000 km, ac­count­ing for 65 per­cent of the world’s to­tal high-speed rail.

Ac­cord­ing to a plan re­leased by the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion in July last year, China will ex­pand high-speed rail to 30,000 km by 2020, link­ing 80 per­cent of its ma­jor cities.

By 2030, the net­work is planned to link all cities with pop­u­la­tions of more than 500,000.

WU YUNSHENG / FOR CHINA DAILY

An at­ten­dant serves a pas­sen­ger on a high-speed train at Ho­hhot East Train Sta­tion in the In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion on Thurs­day morn­ing.

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