Ottawa Citizen

World’s long­est high-speed rail line opens in China

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BEI­JING • China on Wed­nes­day opened the world’s long­est high­speed rail line that more than halves the time re­quired to travel from the coun­try’s cap­i­tal in the north to Guangzhou, an eco­nomic hub in south­ern China.

The open­ing of the 2,298 kilo­me­tre-line was com­mem­o­rated by the 9 a.m. de­par­ture of a train from Bei­jing for Guangzhou.

An­other train left Guangzhou for Bei­jing an hour later.

China has mas­sive re­sources and con­sid­er­able pres­tige in­vested in its show­case high-speed rail­way pro­gram.

But it has in re­cent months faced high-pro­file prob­lems: part of a line col­lapsed in cen­tral China af­ter heavy rains in March, while a bul­let train crash in the sum­mer of 2011 killed 40 peo­ple.

The former rail­way min­is­ter, who spear­headed the bul­let train’s con­struc­tion, and the min­istry’s chief en­gi­neer, were de­tained in an un­re­lated cor­rup­tion in­ves­ti­ga­tion months be­fore the crash.

Trains on the lat­est high-speed line will ini­tially run at 300 km/h with a to­tal travel time of about eight hours. Be­fore, the fastest time be­tween the two cities by train was more than 20 hours.

The line also makes stops in ma­jor cities along the way, in­clud­ing the pro­vin­cial cap­i­tals Shi­ji­azhuang, Wuhan and Chang­sha.

More than 150 pairs of high­speed trains will run on the new line ev­ery day, the of­fi­cial Xin­hua News Agency said, cit­ing the Min­istry of Rail­ways.

The open­ing of the new line brings the to­tal dis­tance cov­ered by China’s high-speed rail­way sys­tem to more than 9,300 km — about half its 2015 tar­get of 18,000 km.

 ?? JIAO HONG­TAO/ XIN­HUA/THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS ?? Trav­el­ling on a newly opened high-speed rail line that is the world’s long­est, this bul­let train pass­ing over the Yongdinghe Bridge in Bei­jing Wed­nes­day can travel 2,298 kilo­me­tres from China’s cap­i­tal in the north to Guangzhou, an eco­nomic hub in the...
JIAO HONG­TAO/ XIN­HUA/THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS Trav­el­ling on a newly opened high-speed rail line that is the world’s long­est, this bul­let train pass­ing over the Yongdinghe Bridge in Bei­jing Wed­nes­day can travel 2,298 kilo­me­tres from China’s cap­i­tal in the north to Guangzhou, an eco­nomic hub in the...

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