High-speed rail faces critical test

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High-speed rail aces critical test

Four lines of high-speed trains stop at Wuhan Railway Station in Central China's Hubei province. During a test, the trains ran at an average speed of 350 km/h.


Passengers from central China can now reach Guangzhou, the southern economic hub, within three hours as the nation carries out its ambitious high-speed railway plan.

The new high-speed railway linking Wuhan, capital of Central China's Hubei province, and Guangzhou successfully passed a critical operations test yesterday and could be open to the public later this month.

The rail cuts the previous travel time of 10 hours between the two cities to less than three hours with an average speed of 350km/h. Chinese media said it is the longest railway with the world's fastest trains.

Ticket prices have not been published yet. Earlier reports said it might be 500 yuan ($73), double the current berth ticket price.

Although travel agencies are concerned the pricey high-speed train may not be a hit with the public, experts say the project is in itself a technological marvel that cost an investment of 100 billion yuan.

"A successful operation of the high-speed railway of more than 1,000 km will help demonstrate China's technological strength ... and appeal to countries like Russia, India and the United States, which also have broad territories and a plan for building high-speed railways," said Yang Hao, professor in railway transport with Beijing Jiaotong University.

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