China's northernmost high-speed railway transports over 80 mln passengers

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China's northernmost high-speed railway in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province has safely transported approximately 81 million passengers during the past seven years, marking the sound development of the country's high-speed rail built for the alpine-cold regions, said local railway authorities.

On Aug. 17, 2015, the province's first high-speed railway, from the provincial capital Harbin to Qiqihar City, was put into operation and became China's northernmost of its kind in operation. Currently, the Harbin-Qiqihar railway has the largest number of trains and the highest ridership among Heilongjiang's high-speed rail lines.

Located in one of China's coldest regions, multiple-unit trains running on the rail line underwent special modification to tackle freezing conditions, according to China Railway Harbin Bureau Group Co., Ltd.

At present, the Harbin-Qiqihar railway can allow the trains to run at a top speed of 250 km per hour. From 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day, at least one bullet train is launched between Harbin and Qiqihar every hour. The railway sent an average daily passenger flow of about 43,000 people at peak in 2019, a considerable increase compared with about 30,000 people in 2015.

In 2021, after integrated into the national railway network, the travel time of bullet trains from Qiqihar to Beijing was shortened from eight and a half hours to about seven hours.

Currently, 14 pairs of multiple-unit trains bound for destinations outside Heilongjiang and 24.5 pairs of trains bound for places inside the province have been launched via the Harbin-Qiqihar railway by the group. 

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