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January 2, 2013

China opens world’s longest high-speed railway line

China has opened a 2,298km high-speed rail line, the longest in the world, connecting Beijing to Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province.

China has opened a 2,298km high-speed rail line, the longest in the world, connecting Beijing to Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province.

The new service will run at speeds of over 300km/h, reducing travel times between the two cities from 20 hours to eight hours.

With a design speed of 350km/h, the high-speed route has 35 stops connecting 28 cities, including five provincial capitals.

The Chinese Ministry of Railways (MOR) will operate about 155 pairs of trains on the new line every day, with alternative schedules during weekends and peak travel times.

The new service will run at speeds of over 300km/h, reducing travel times between the two cities from 20 hours to eight hours.

Planned to connect to Hong Kong in the future, the high-speed trains will operate along with the 183 pairs of trains that are currently operating daily on the old Beijing-Guangzhou line.

The new line is divided into four main divisions passing through Beijing, the central transport hub Zhengzhou in Henan province, Wuhan in central China and Guangzhou.

The line between Wuhan and Guangzhou opened in 2009.

With the opening of the new line, China now has more than 9,300km of high-speed rail in operation. The country plans to build four east-west lines and four north-south lines spanning more than 120,000km of track by 2020.

Work on a 26km rail line from downtown Hong Kong to the Chinese border, which will eventually connect to the Beijing-Guangzhou line, is underway at a cost of $8.6bn.

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