A high-speed train service connecting the Chinese cities of Beijing and Shanghai has started operations to ease pressure on the country’s overloaded transport system.
The $33bn high-speed rail will be able to carry 80 million passengers a year, double the current capacity on the 1,318km (820 mile) route.
The trains will run at between 250 and 300km/hr on the Beijing-Shanghai link, although the line is designed for a maximum speed of 380km/hr.
The high-speed railway work was started in April 2008 with an investment of 220.9bn yuan ($34bn). China has invested heavily in its high-speed rail network, which spanned 8,358km at the end of 2010 and is expected to exceed 13,000km by 2012 and 16,000km by 2020.
The project has been embroiled in controversy after China’s state auditor revealed that construction companies and individuals siphoned off 187m yuan in funds meant for the Beijing-Shanghai link last year.
Photo : AFP