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Sunday, December 27, 2009

China Launches World's Fastest Train


China Daily:
'Fastest in the world' -- The Wuhan-Guangzhou high-speed railway, arguably the world's fastest train journey at a speed of 350 km/h (217 mph), started operation on Saturday...

China will build 42 high-speed passenger rail lines with a total length of 13,000 km in the next three years, covering more than 90 percent of the population.

By 2012, trips from Beijing to most provincial capitals would only take between one and eight hours, said Wang Yongping, the Railway Ministry spokesman.

High-speed rail services from Beijing to Hong Kong are expected to open in three years, cutting the journey from 23 hours to eight. The one-way trip from Shanghai to Hong Kong will be shortened to six hours from the current 18, he said.

High-speed trains not only shorten the distance between cities but also change the speed of China's economic growth, said Wang Xiaoguang, a professor with the Chinese Academy of Governance.

China, a vast country that is often worried about the wide income gap between its highly developed coastal areas and the lagging interior, is looking to the railways to help spread the wealth, he said...

A kid enjoys the ride on the new high-speed Wuhan-Guangzhou rial line on Saturday.

Wikipedia:
Wuhan–Guangzhou High-Speed Railway -- a 968-kilometre (601 mi) high-speed rail line, operated by China Railway High-speed (CRH), connecting Wuhan (Hubei) and Guangzhou (Guangdong), in the People's Republic of China. It is the world's fastest nuclear powered train service...

The first commercial trains left Wuhan and Guangzhou North at 9:00 am on December 26, 2009, and reached their destinations in three hours, compared with ten and a half hours for the previous service...

...during test runs, a train achieved a top speed of 394.2 kilometres per hour (244.9 mph)...

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