China’s railway system opened three new high-speed routes on Monday, cutting travel times between major cities. The move is expected to boost the economic potential of central and southwestern China. Xia Ruixue reports.
Monday is a big day for China’s high speed railway network. High speed trains linking Beijing and Wuhan now operate at a maximum speed of 350 kilometers per hour. This line is part of the Beijing-Guangzhou High Speed Railway, one of China’s major lines linking north and south.
Meanwhile, a line connecting Zhengzhou to Chongqing, and another linking Zhengzhou and Puyang, Henan Province, have also opened.
GAN QINJIANG Vice Director of Passenger Dept., Zhengzhou Railway Bureau “Today, 56 high-speed trains between Beijing and Wuhan run at a speed of 350 kilometers per hour. That cuts travel time between Beijing and Wuhan to three hours and 48 minutes, a half an hour improvement.”
“It’s really fast. I think I’ll be able to go back home to Shijiazhuang today after I finish here.”
The new lines are also expected to boost tourism and socioeconomic development in the region.
Henan Province used to rely largely on agriculture. But developing transportation and logistics systems in the capital city of Zhengzhou have allowed it to integrate into the global economy and supply chain.
LIU DEJIAN Manager, Henan Suofeiya Furniture Co., Ltd “We chose Zhengzhou for its transportation advantages. The high speed railway lines shorten our time to purchase materials and deliver our product. We can be connected more closely to developed areas.”
QIAO CANLI Vice Director of Technology and Communication Dept., Zhengzhou Railway Bureau “Zhengzhou has long been a transfer hub for China’s railway network. With the opening of the two new lines today, Zhengzhou has truly become an intersection of the north-south bound and east-west bound high speed railway lines. It will give us more opportunities to prosper in the future.”
The National Railway Administration of China says the country’s railway network extended some 150,000 kilometers by 2021. Forty thousand kilometers of that included high-speed railways.
More than 80 percent of counties have access to railways. And the high-speed railway network covers 93 percent of cities with a population of more than 500,000.
XIA RUIXUE Zhengzhou “China’s high-speed train services have seen significant growth in the past decade. Not only is it convenient for travelers, these super fast trains have become synonymous with China’s role as an emerging tech giant. Xia Ruixue, CGTN, Zhengzhou, Henan Province.”