Hubei Province in central China opened a new high-speed railway running from its capital, Wuhan, to Shiyan.

Shiyan is located in the northwest part of Hubei. Opened on 29 November, the new line reduces the travel time between the two cities, which previously took half a day, to around two hours. The rail line will serve five cities, which house 46% of the population of Hubei, as well as connect four national tourist attractions, including Mount Wudang, which is home to Taoist temples.

Xinhua reported China Railway Wuhan Group as saying that the rail line is capable of handling speeds of up to 250km/h and 350km/h on two sections of the line.

Shiyan poverty reduction office chief Shi Lilong said: “The railway would become a powerful weapon in the local battle against poverty by bringing the mountains and its sceneries closer to tourists, unlocking the tourism potential of the mountainous region.”

In July, Nanjing Metro in China signed a contract with Alstom for traction systems and train control and monitoring system (TCMS). These systems will be installed on 318 metro cars that will operate on line 7, the first driverless metro line in the city.

In April, Malaysia and China signed a revised agreement to restart the construction of the suspended East Coast Rail Link (ECRL). The new agreement, which reduces the scope and cost of the original project, was signed following months of negotiations between the two countries.

In January, China Railway revealed plans to invest in 6,800km of new railway line as part of the government’s plan to increase infrastructure investment. The plan includes installation of at least 3,200km of high-speed rail in the country.