China's railway authorities have launched a 'luxury' train service on one of its most popular routes, between Beijing and Shanghai. The new train has cabins for two people with sliding doors and a washroom, instead of the usual open cabin for four to six people. Additional services and facilities include movies, climate control, reading lights and electrical sockets. The journey takes 14 hours.
The new service is designed to claw back market share from air and road operators. According to Beijing Weekend, the railway's share of all travellers between Beijing and Shanghai has fallen from 80 per cent in 1993 to just under 45 per cent.