China will launch the world’s fastest express train, able to travel at an average speed of 350 kmph (217.5 mph) at the end of this week. Our illustration shows it under construction.
Ticket sales for the train, which will travel between central China’s largest city of Wuhan and the southern China business hub of Guangzhou have already started. Ticket prices range from $72 to $120, slightly above the price of a normal discount airline ticket.
The train will cover a distance of 1,068 km (664 miles) in three hours, almost three times faster than an average Chinese train.
"The time of the rail journey is even shorter than by air, because I can avoid security checks as well as long trips between the airports and city centers," said Wu Bin, a businessman who often travels between the cities. And that is the key to the attraction of rail for medium trips.
In a bid to make up for possible losses, China Southern Airlines (CSA) announced on Thursday an express service with dozens of flights traveling between the cities daily, and lowered the airfare more than fivefold, to $30.
RianNovostie reports China is set to build a network of 42 high-speed railways, with a total length of 13,000 km (8,078 miles). The bullet trains had a maximum speed of 394.2 kmph (245 mph) during tests.