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Market to decide inter-city train ticket price
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A bullet train is seen at the Tianjin railway station on July 22, 2008. A new express rail linking Tianjin with Beijing will open on Friday. [File Photo: Xinhuanet]

The ticket price level for bullet trains on the Beijing-Tianjin express railway will be temporarily decided by the operating corporation based on market demand in a one-year trial operation, after which the price will be set in due legal procedures.

The announcement was jointly made by the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Railways, Xinhua reported on Tuesday.

It was also announced that in the trial period, the number of passenger trains running currently between Beijing and Tianjin will not be decreased and the ticket prices will not be changed.

Deputy chief engineer of the Ministry of Railways Zhang Shuguang, however, did reveal in the report that the ticket price of the first-class compartment of the bullet trains has been put at 69 yuan (US$10) and the second-class compartment below 60 yuan. He said the ticket price will be re-calculated a year after the launch of the express railway based on the passenger flows.

The new express rail link from Beijing to nearby Tianjin will open Friday, in time for next month's Beijing Olympics, and will shuttle people to soccer events in Tianjin, one of the Games' co-host cities.

It will reduce the current rail journey to a 30-minute hop, taking passengers at a top speed of 350 kmph (220 mph) on special sleek trains with spacious, plush interiors with swivel seats.

Trains can run on the 20 billion yuan (US$2.93 billion) new Tianjin line every three minutes, and each train can carry around 600 people between landlocked Beijing and its port city neighbor.

(CRI July 30,2008)

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