So, China certainly has a special way of commemorating the birth of revered Chinese leader, Mao Zedong.
Today marks the official day that China started its 2,298km (1,428 mile) high-speed train line, the longest in the world. The first train on the Beijing-Guangzhou line left Beijing West Station at 9am this morning, as scheduled. The trains will travel at an average speed of 300km per hour over the line, which includes 35 stops in major cities such as:
- Wuhan on the Yangtze River
Said to be China’s latest milestone, this high-speed train will undoubtedly intensify competition for airlines as it is capable of reducing the travel time from the previous 21 hours mark to as few as only eight hours. To put that into perspective, the new high-speed railway will decrease travel time between Beijing and Guangzhou (about equivalent of traveling from Los Angeles to Dallas, which takes over 20 hours to drive) to eight hours.
The new line is part of the nation’s plan to build a 16,000km high-speed rail network by 2015, and will eventually connect to Hong Kong.
Despite the bad press that the high-speed rail network previously received, this opening comes as a massive piece of good news because it means that it will be in service during the upcoming Chinese New Year festive period. Hundreds of millions of people travel across China to visit their ancestral hometowns and it’s the world’s largest annual migration. Hence, it’s a huge sigh of relief for travelers.
Alright. We want to go to China just for its high-speed train. Who’s with us?