All aboard China’s newest 658km high-speed rail service
A new 658km high-speed rail service will be up and running in western China on Wednesday, linking Xian, home of China’s famed terracotta warriors, to Chengdu in the heart of giant panda country.
With a top speed up to 250km/h, the new line took five years to build, winds through one of China’s most mountainous areas and will cut the rail journey between the two cities from about 11 hours to 3½ hours, according to state-run Xinhua.
The new line will not be the fastest in China but it will form a key part of the country’s national high-speed railway system, linking the upstream areas of the Yellow and Yangtze rivers via 127 bridges and 34 tunnels.
Ticket sales started on Sunday, with a second-class ticket for the full journey costing 263 yuan (USD 40), the report said.
China plans to have 30,000km of high-speed rail in operation by 2020, linking 80 per cent of its major cities.
China’s extensive investments in railways have been a priority in its five-year development plans, and a major export under its “Belt and Road Initiative”.
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