- Title: CHINA: Country unveils world's longest high-speed rail line
- Date: 14th June 2011
- Summary: BEIJING, CHINA (JUNE 13, 2011) (REUTERS) OFFICIALS SITTING DOWN FOR NEWS CONFERENCE JOURNALISTS NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) VICE MINISTER OF RAILWAYS HU YADONG, SAYING: "When dealing with the operation of the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail link, you have to take into consideration both the social and economic benefits. Under these circumstances, it is reasonable to choose 300 kilometres (186.4 miles) per hour." SHANGHAI, CHINA (FILE - MAY 2011) (REUTERS) WOMAN SWEEPING PLATFORM TRAIN ATTENDANTS STANDING BY CARRIAGE DOOR TRAIN AT PLATFORM VARIOUS OF TRAIN MOVING OUT OF STATION VARIOUS OF TRAIN ON TRACKS BEIJING, CHINA (JUNE 13, 2011) (REUTERS) NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) VICE MINISTER OF RAILWAYS HU YADONG, SAYING: "In the 12th five-year plan, railway construction will continue the trend of rapid growth. We will not slow down the pace, and there will be no cut in investments."
- Embargoed: 29th June 2011 13:00
- Location: China, China
- Country: China
- Topics: Transport
- Reuters ID: LVAACUO4G8ICTNY8FS521LVF6NG7
- Story Text: China officially unveiled its 1,318 kilometre- (819 miles-) long high-speed railway on Monday (June 13), which will take passengers from Shanghai to Beijing in less than five hours.
The Beijing-Shanghai railway, which will begin commercial operation at the beginning of July, is the longest single high-speed railway in the world and China's largest infrastructure investment project.
China's Vice Minister for Railways Hu Yadong said the new railway line halves the current journey time down to 4 hours 48 minutes, and runs at a top speed of 300 kilometres per hour (186 mph).
The journey time could be even shorter, as the railway was built for a maximum speed of 350 kilometres-per-hour (217 miles-per-hour), but government officials said the slower speed would help to keep costs down.
"When dealing with the operation of the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail link, you have to take into consideration both the social and economic benefits. Under these circumstances, it's reasonable to choose 300 kilometres per hour," Hu said.
Tickets for the 300-kilometre-per-hour service will cost 555 yuan ($86 U.S. dollar) for economy class and 1750 yuan ($170 U.S. dollar) for a business class seat.
A cheaper option is available for those willing to travel at a slower speed.
With a journey time of eight hours, tickets for the slower 250 kilometres-per hour (155 miles-per-hour) service cost 410 yuan ($63 U.S. dollar) for an economy ticket.
The Chinese government said the completion of the widely-watched line cost 220.9 billion yuan ($34 billion U.S. dollar), and Hu said investment would continue.
"In the 12th five-year plan, railway construction will continue the trend of rapid growth. We will not slow down the paces, and there will be no cut in investments," he said.
The world's second biggest economy said it would invest a further 2.8 trillion yuan ($430 billion U.S. dollar) over the five years from 2011 to 2015, an increase of 41.4 percent from the previous five years, but falling short of the previously announced 3.5 trillion yuan ($539.6 billion U.S. dollar).
China plans to build 13,000 kilometres (8,078 miles) of high-speed rail by 2012, which is more than the rest of the world combined.
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