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Beijing-Tianjin railway opens
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Two official ceremonies were held in Beijing and Olympic co-host city Tianjin on Friday morning, marking the opening of the Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Railway, one week before the Games begin.

The two opening ceremonies were staged at the cavernous new Beijing South Railway Station and the Tianjin Station, respectively.

The first train was expected to depart for Tianjin at 12:30 a.m. from the Beijing South Railway Station, Xinhua has learned.

The Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Railway would be the world's only rail line on which passenger trains could run at 350 km per hour, said the Chinese Ministry of Railways.

The new train service would cut the 120-km journey from the current 70 minutes to about 30 minutes. There are five stations along the line: the Beijing South Railway Station, Yizhuang, Yongle, Wuqing and Tianjin.

The intercity rail line will shuttle spectators, athletes, media people and other passengers between Beijing and Tianjin, which is to host 12 Olympic football matches from Aug. 6 to 15.

(Xinhua News Agency August 1, 2008)

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