East-west link dra­mat­i­cally cuts travel time for com­muters

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By LUO WANG­SHU

Satur­day’s open­ing of a new high-speed rail­way con­nect­ing two ma­jor ex­ist­ing lines in China is ex­pected to ben­e­fit thou­sands of trav­el­ers across the coun­try.

The new east-west line links Zhengzhou, He­nan prov­ince, with Xuzhou, Jiangsu prov­ince, at roughly the mid­point of the two north­south lines— the Bei­jing-Guangzhou rail­way and the Bei­jing-Shang­hai rail­way.

Zhu Xin­hua, a fre­quent rail trav­eler, was one of the first pas­sen­gers to ex­pe­ri­ence the new­line. And he was thrilled.

“I can be home in four hours in­stead of about 10 hours,” the 48-year-old said.

The na­tive of Chaohu, An­hui prov­ince, is em­ployed by a soft­ware com­pany in Zhengzhou and trav­els be­tween home and work ev­ery week.

“In the past, I usu­ally took an overnight trip when com­mut­ing be­tween home and work. The train is slow and old, and it sways a lot. But from now on, I have a more con­ve­nient and com­fort­able choice,” Zhu said, adding that the new car­riages are so stable he can even work on the train.

“The en­vi­ron­ment on the high-speed train is bet­ter than the pre­vi­ous one, in­clud­ing elec­tron­ics chargers on board and more com­fort­able seats,” he added.

Zhu’s youngest daugh­ter is 18 months old. The faster train re­duces travel time, so he gets more time to visit. It is also more con­ve­nient for an­other daugh­ter to visit her fa­ther.

“I trav­eled to Zhengzhou to visit my fa­ther at work some years ago when I was in high school,” said Zhu Liyi, 24, the el­dest daugh­ter. “It was an overnight train. I can def­i­nitely visit him more of­ten since the faster train opened.”

An­other ben­e­fi­ciary of the new rail­way is Chen Fengzhen. She and her hus­band, Zhang Yanxi, who are in their 70s, left their home­town in He­nan prov­ince when they were in their 20s. They now live in Fu­jian prov­ince.

“When I first left He­nan and took the train to Fu­jian, it took me three days and nights. It takes about eight hours now,” Chen said.

The new rail­way is a part of rail­way be­tween He­nan and Fu­jian.

“My sis­ter still lives in He­nan, and as I am get­ting older, I would like to visit my home­town more,” she said. “With the open­ing of the new rail­way it will be much more con­ve­nient.”

The en­vi­ron­ment on the high-speed train is bet­ter than the pre­vi­ous one, in­clud­ing elec­tron­ics chargers on board.” Zhu Xin­hua, a fre­quent rail trav­eler who works in Zhengzhou

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