- Title: CHINA: New high-speed railway opens amid spending binge
- Date: 27th October 2010
- Summary: MAN TAKING PICTURE
- Embargoed: 11th November 2010 12:00
- Location: China
- Country: China
- Topics: Transport
- Reuters ID: LVADWIKPNWPNAZQU30YGOT5Z5WPL
- Story Text: China officially opened a 202-kilometre high-speed railway line between Shanghai and Hangzhou on Tuesday (October 26), the latest landmark in the largest-ever railway construction boom.
The high-speed railway in the Yangtze River Delta had a speed of 350 kilometres an hour, reducing travel time between the two cities to 45 minutes from 78 minutes, domestic media reported.
And the train traveled as fast as 416.6 kilometers per hour when tested, according to state television CCTV, setting a new world record.
The new link brings China's total high-speed rail network to 7,431 kilometres -- the longest in the world and more than three times that of Japan.
The high-speed train to Hangzhou from Shanghai costs 131 RMB ($20 U.S. dollars) in first class and 82 RMB ($12 U.S. dollars) in second class.
Zhou Caoying, 61, whose daughter bought her a ticket to experience the new train, pointed excitedly as the display panel showed the train reaching 356 kilometers per hour.
"Wow, look! It's at 356 km per hour, 356 km per hour!" said Zhou.
"I feel very proud that China has this achievement now. I'm very proud," she added.
Some passengers, as excited as Zhou, even took out their video-cameras and started to record the moment.
"I think after the opening of Shanghai-Nanjing high-speed rail, the Shanghai-Hangzhou high-speed rail further shortened the distance of the Yangtze delta region. People living in the area are now getting closer. This improves the connection of economy in the area," said Zhang Minmin, a trainer for the attendants on the new high-speed train.
China plans to build 13,000 km of high-speed rail lines by 2012, more than the rest of the world combined.
That plan includes a high-speed rail between the country's capital Beijing and the financial centre Shanghai, that is due to open next year and will halve the travel time between the two cities to five hours.
According to the government's blueprint, by 2020 the network will serve more than 90 percent of the population at a projected cost of 2 trillion yuan ($300 billion), and include 16,000 km of the fastest newly built lines.
Trains will travel at a maximum speed of 350 km an hour on 8,000 km of the track and at 250 km an hour on the rest.
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