All aboard

New high-speed rail links west with ma­jor routes

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By LUO WANG­SHU luowangshu@chi­nadaily.com.cn Wu Ji­aquan con­trib­uted to the story.

A new high-speed rail­way link­ing east and cen­tral China opened on Satur­day, push­ing the to­tal length of high-speed track in ser­vice above 20,000 kilo­me­ters in China, the most in the world.

The new 360-km line links Zhengzhou, He­nan prov­ince with Xuzhou, Jiangsu prov­ince. Trains will run up to 300 km/h in the ini­tial pe­riod.

“The new rail­way links China’s two most im­por­tant north-south rail­ways — the Bei­jing-Guangzhou and Bei­jing-rail­ways — and also con­nects East, Cen­tral and West China,” said Huang Xin, an of­fi­cial from the trans­porta­tion bureau of China Rail­way Corp.

The Xuzhou-Lanzhou rail­way is one of China’s four most im­por­tant rail­ways from east to west, which will link Asia and Europe and play a key role in the Belt and Road strat­egy, he added.

It also greatly re­duces eastwest travel time be­tween big cities.

Peo­ple can com­mute be­tween Shang­hai and Zhengzhou in four hours, cut­ting 2 hours and 47 min­utes from the trip.

Travel be­tween Shang­hai and Xi’an was also re­duced to 6 hours from 10 hours and 47 min­utes.

“The new rail­way is not long, only 360 km, but it cuts across three provinces, He­nan, An­hui and Jiangsu,” Huang said.

“It not only re­duces dis­tances, but also con­nects peo­ple, in­for­ma­tion and lo­gis­tics, greatly boost­ing the re­gional econ­omy, peo­ple’s liveli­hoods and tourism.”

Lu Weili, a 23-year-old from Xuzhou, Jiangsu prov­ince, was thrilled at the open­ing of the new rail­way.

“I own a clothes fac­tory in Zhengzhou, and my busi­ness is all over Jiangsu prov­ince and Shang­hai. The new rail­way will surely ben­e­fit me and my busi­ness a lot in the fu­ture,” he said.

“High-speed rail is safer and faster, pro­vid­ing bet­ter ser­vice for the pas­sen­gers. The old trains are not too bad, but they have sev­eral is­sues such as hy­giene and in­ten­sive sales of lo­cal spe­cial­ties,” Lu said.

“I take the train to go home or do some clothes de­liv­er­ies once or twice a month,” he said, adding that his fam­ily is look­ing for­ward to tak­ing the high-speed line as well.

“China has led many high­speed rail­way tech­nolo­gies in the world and has abun­dant man­age­ment ex­pe­ri­ence,” said Zhang Zhi­fang, deputy di­rec­tor of the tech­nol­ogy ad­min­is­tra­tion depart­ment of China Rail­way Corp.

High-speed rail has be­come the trans­porta­tion of choice for many Chi­nese peo­ple.

Ac­cord­ing to China Rail­way Corp, about 4,200 bul­let trains run in China each day, pro­vid­ing more than 4.5 mil­lion pas­sen­ger trips.

In July, the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion, the coun­try’s top eco­nomic plan­ner, is­sued a na­tional rail­way de­vel­op­ment plan that en­vi­sions a 175,000km rail net­work by the end of 2025. Un­der the plan, China will have 38,000 km of high­speed rail­ways.

LI AN / XIN­HUA

Pas­sen­gers show their tickets on the in­au­gu­ral run of the ZhengzhouXuzhou high-speed rail­way in Zhengzhou, He­nan prov­ince, on Satur­day.

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