Shanghai-Hangzhou high-speed railway begins operation

A new high-speed rail line connecting Shanghai and Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province, will begin operation Tuesday.

A total of 50 high speed trains will run between Shanghai and Hangzhou everyday.Each is undergoing final testing before service begins.

It usually takes 90 minutes to complete the two-hundred kilometer journey. However, travelling at 350 kilometers per hour the high speed trains will only require 38 minutes to travel between Shanghai and Hangzhou.

The total investment in the project is 29.3 billion yuan or about 4.4 billion U.S. dollars and construction began in February 2009. In addition to a quicker trip between the two cities, the high-speed railway is also expected to promote greater integration and economic growth in the entire Yangtze River Delta region.

China is rapidly improving its railway system as the pressure increases on its transportation system.

The country began to draw its high-speed railway blueprint five years ago. Service linking Beijing to Tianjin, and from Wuhan to Guangzhou are already in operation.

By 2012, China plans to have 42 high-speed passenger rail lines with total track length of 13-thousand kilometers. Four routes running from north to south and four routes running from east to west will be built.

( Xinhua ,October 26 , 2010 )