Shanghai-Nanjing high-speed railway opens

11:21, July 02, 2010      

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China's first high-speed train connecting Shanghai to Nanjing departed from the Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station at 6 a.m., on July 1, 2010, marking the official start of the Shanghai-Nanjing high-speed railway.

The minimum travel time between the two cities has been shortened from two hours to just 73 minutes. The Shanghai-Hangzhou high-speed railway is set to open three months later.

"It is a significant milestone for the development of the Yangtze River Delta region," said Xu Changle, deputy director of the Yangtze Basin Development Institute under East China Normal University.

He added that it will improve the flow of regional traffic, promote regional economic development and raise the people's living standards.

The Shanghai-Nanjing high-speed railway is nearly 301 kilometers in length and has 21 stations altogether along the way. According to the arrangements of related departments, 120 pairs of trains will operate on the line, and there will be 5 minutes between each train at the shortest.

With an average speed of more than 300 kilometers per hour, trains on the Shanghai-Nanjing high-speed railway probably travel the fastest and longest and have the highest standards in China and even the whole world. Moreover, this rail line will play an important role in building the one-hour Shanghai-Nanjing-Hangzhou metropolitan area.

"The opening of the railway will further improve the flow of resources among cities in the Yangtze River Delta while reducing the temporal and spatial distance," Xu said.

The regional economic development will not be restricted to each city alone. Instead, cities in the Yangtze River Delta region will be connected with one another and develop as a whole, which will be highly beneficial to many aspects of local residents' daily lives such as consumption and travel.

"The Shanghai-Nanjing high-speed railway will closely link the high-tech, modern service, manufacturing and other industries in the areas along the railway. Not only will Shanghai's service industry service the city's economic development, but it will contribute to the development of other cities and even the entire Yangtze River Delta region," said Xu.

According to the approved ticket pricing plan submitted by the Shanghai-Nanjing Intercity Light Rail Company, the full ticket price is 233 yuan for first-class seats and 146 yuan for second-class seats.

The relatively high ticket prices have upset some residents who say that only a small number of the high-speed trains are non-stop while the majority still need to stop at the 21 stations, therefore making the train only a little faster but with a much higher ticket price compared with regular trains. The ticket price for second-class seats is higher than that of normal trains by 57 percent and the ticket price for first-class seats is almost double.

In response, the Shanghai Railway Bureau said to meet needs of different types of passengers, the normal trains running on the existing Shanghai-Nanjing Railway will continue operations after July 1 and passengers may choose which train to take according to their own needs.

By People's Daily Online

(Editor:祁澍文)

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