China’s development of high speed (HS) rail may have been late but over the past five years, it has accomplished what other countries have taken decades to achieve.
China’s first HS rail, the 120-km inter-city line between Beijing and Tianjin, went into operation on August 1, 2008. According to the Ministry of Railways, by the end of 2009, there were 6,552 km of HS track in operation and an additional 10,000 km were under construction.
It is expected that by the end of 2012, China will have 13,000 km of HS rail in service in a rail system covering 110,000 km. Most of the provincial capitals of China will be accessible from Beijing via HS train in under 8 hours.
What’s On Xiamen reports that one of these, the Wuhan-Guangzhou HS railway line, which opened in December 2009, runs 33 trains a day. The average occupancy rate is 84%.
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