China broke ground on Tuesday for a 300 km high-speed passenger rail line between Shanghai and Nanjing, two cities in the populous, affluent Yangtze River Delta region of east China.
The new line, costing 39.45 billion yuan (5.7 billion US dollars), is to be completed in four years.
It will run around the clock and offer services at three-minute intervals during peak hours. It will cut the travel time from two hours to 72 minutes.
"The new line is expected to boost the economy of the cities along it," said an unidentified railway official.
The route will have 21 stations and is forecast to carry up to 26.35 million people by 2020 and 38.44 million by 2030.
The delta area, one of the country's most economically robust, currently contributes more than 20 percent of the national gross domestic product.
(Xinhua News Agency July 2, 2008)