I am very sure some of you may already be aware of the China's landmark rail link. However, for the benefits of everyone, I humbly report this news in this blog so as to uplift some of you especially those who like to travel to this great nation which has been shining especially in the last couple of years.
The link, is none other than Beijing-Shanghai railway that not only opened a year ahead of schedule, but also will be the world's longest and fastest passenger trains - cutting travel times between China's two main cities by half, 4 hrs 48 minutes be exact and previously 10 hours.
With this, the China CRH380A with its speed of 380 km/hr will be the world fastest passenger train, followed by Siemens Velaro with its recorded speed of 350 km/hr, Japan Shinkansen will be the third with the fastest speed of 330 km/hr. France TGV with its speed of 300 km/hr will be placed fifth after Germany ICE 3 with its speed of 320 km /hr.
The above bullet train, scheduled to open later this month, will offer coach-class tickets for a less-than-expected 555 yuan ($86), causing a threat to local airlines on their busiest route.
One-way trips in the two different premium classes will cost from 935 yuan and 1,750 yuan on 300 kilometers-per-hour (186 miles per hour) services, Vice Rail Minister Hu Yadong told reporters today in Beijing. The line will move about 180,000 passengers a day initially, he said.
Fares on three existing bullet-train lines will also be reduced by 5 percent as the ministry slows trains to 300 kph to pare operating costs and boost passenger numbers, Hu said. The 1,318-kilometer Beijing- Shanghai high-speed line will lure travelers from planes, thus most likely to have adverse impact to the local airlines and airports.
The ticket price is very competitive and thus very likely to attract some passengers from airlines. However the question arises whether the train can retain travelers will very much depends on its service and safety levels. The line will run 90 services a day each way, including cheaper ones traveling at 250 kph. Ticket sales will only begin a week prior to its services, no specific date were given at the time of writing. The 221 billion- yuan high-speed rail link is designed to carry 80 million passengers a year.
The lower-than-expected ticket price is a positive news to the travelers and make travelling much affordable. However, the operators are facing big pressure to cut prices further in view of steep competition from road, rail and air transportations.
According to Hu, trains will be slowed on the Wuhan-Guangzhou, Zhengzhou- Xian and Shanghai-Nanjing lines from July 1 to pare costs.
The 300 kph trains will travel from Beijing to Shanghai in less than five hours. A flight takes about two hours, excluding travel time to airports and waits for check-in. About 25 percent of Chinese flights also suffer delays.
Air China, the biggest carrier in Beijing, is advertising June 19 flights to Shanghai from 410 yuan on its website. Carriers will offer an average of more than 20,000 seats a day on the route this month, the seventh-highest tally worldwide, based on data from OAG Aviation Solutions.
To ensure safety on the new Beijing-Shanghai line, the operator will undertake at least four hours of inspections every night, Hu said. A train with no passengers onboard will also be run along the line first thing every morning as well, he said.
The new line will contribute to a 9.6 percent increase in China’s railway passenger capacity from July 1, Hu said. Cargo capacity will rise by 6 percent, he said.
The ministry also reiterated plans to spend 2.8 trillion yuan on railways in the five years ending 2015. That will boost the total network to about 120,000 kilometers, said Hu. The China economic growth appears to be able to sustain with his assurance that the Investments would not be reduced and the pace of development would not be slowed, which is also in line with their long term target of 9 percent. Thus it will not only give hope of a better global economy but also spur the global economy as a whole.
Stay tuned and we shall bring you more uplifting news.
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