29 Jun '11, 10pm

Beijing-Shanghai high-speed train makes debut

Beijing-Shanghai high-speed train makes debut

BEIJING: High-speed trains linking China's two main cities Beijing and Shanghai make their commercial debut on Thursday - a step seen as vital to ease pressures on the country's overloaded transport system. The $33 billion rail line, which has been operating on a trial basis since mid-May, will halve the journey time to under five hours and could hurt airlines operating on the busy route plagued by delays and cancellations. The fast link, which has been hit by safety concerns and graft, is opening a year ahead of schedule and will be able to carry 80 million passengers a year - double the current capacity on the 1,318-kilometre route. "It could play a transformational role in shaping the future economic dynamics in coastal China ... by creating more spillover effects to regions lying along the sprawling high-speed railway line," Ren Xianfang, an analyst at IHS Global Insig...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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