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Construction starts on rail link

CONSTRUCTION on the 29.68-billion-yuan (US$4.34 billion) Shanghai-Hangzhou high-speed railway started yesterday at Fengjing area in Shanghai.

The project, which is expected to be completed before the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, will cut the journey between the two cities to 38 minutes from the current one hour or more and is part of a plan to cut travel time between any two cities in the Yangtze River Delta Region to within one hour.

The rail link will have a top speed of 350 kilometers per hour and have nine stations on its 159km route. Three stations - Shanghai Hongqiao Station, Songjiang South Station and Fengjing South Station - will be in Shanghai. The other six will be in Zhejiang Province.

Intervals between trains will be just three minutes. When it begins operation, 210 trains will be in service daily in each direction and this may rise to 235.

People in Hongqiao area will be able to travel more quickly to Songjiang District on the new train than the Metro.

Construction started in July last year on the 300km Shanghai-Nanjing rail line at a cost of 39.46 billion yuan. A 251km rail link between Nangjing and Hangzhou is also under construction at a cost of 31.3 billion yuan.

Once all three lines are finished, passengers will be able to travel between any two of these cities within an hour, much faster than at present.

The line from Hangzhou to Nanjing, capital of neighboring Jiangsu Province, will take 50 minutes. It now takes as long as eight hours as passengers must first travel through Shanghai.


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