“It’s not about competing for a slice of the cake with airlines. It’s all about how to make a bigger cake.”
attendant for a domestic airline. Chen said she chose her new job as “it’s more stable compared with that on planes” and she could be sure of regular visits home to Suzhou.
One problem along the route was the poor WiFi service and blackouts of mobile phone signals when the train passes through its many tunnels.
The rail operator has promised to try to rectify those problems by the end of this year.
The air- conditioned carriages are perfect for snoozing because the ride is quiet, especially after reporters finishing typing and photographers had taken all their pictures.
For those who can’t sleep, the scenery can be a pleasant diversion even though it slips past quickly.
The trip from my front door in Shanghai to the downtown rail station in Beijing took almost six hours.
I would take the train in future as the shorter traveling time is an attraction and I would not have to worry about the delays which happen frequently on flights.
But I would say the tickets are too expensive in a country where there are millions of people on relatively low incomes who need to travel.
In a recent survey of more than 3,300 people in Shanghai, almost 90 percent said the bullet train prices, ranging from 410 yuan to 1,750 yuan, were too high.
The railways ministry has high expectations that the new ShanghaiBeijing line will give a lift to national bullet-train services. The question remains: Will travelers choose the train over airlines?
Many Chinese complain that highspeed rail tickets are comparatively expensive in country where train travel has been the staple transport for people on low incomes, especially for migrants who work in cities but visit their families back home during the holidays.
“It’s not about competing for a slice of the cake with airlines,” said Sun Zhang, a professor from Shanghai Tongji University who is also a member of a railway authority think tank.
“It’s all about how to make a bigger cake.”
Ministry spokesman Wang Yongping said the railway expects to make a “slight profit margin” from the high-speed service, but that stage wouldn’t be reached immediately.