East-west link dramatically cuts travel time for commuters
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