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May 7, 2011

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Full route trials for high-speed Beijing line

FULL-SCALE trials along the entire length of the Shanghai-Beijing high-speed railway link will take place next month, the Ministry of Railways said yesterday.

The 10 days of dry runs, scheduled to begin on June 9, are expected to be the last major trials before the express rail link opens late next month.

Railway officials said passengers will be able to choose from three types of trips.

Some services will be non-stop between the two cities; others will stop at provincial capitals along the route; the third category will cover different regional routes to accommodate passengers joining the train from smaller cities and towns.

Trains will run between Shanghai's Hongqiao Railway Station and Beijing's South Railway Station.

The 1,318-kilometer link will cut a journey between Shanghai and the capital from between 10 and 18 hours at present to around five hours.

With safety in mind, the national railway authorities have decided to lower the operational speed on current high-speed railway links.

As a result, the speed of trains on the Shanghai-Beijing express rail link will be 300 kilometers per hour, instead of the 350km/h previously planned.

The railway decision maker has also announced the trains will not have VIP carriages. The capacity will be used to provide more seats for standard ticket holders.

The Shanghai-Beijing express train project is said to have cost 220 billion yuan (US$33.6 billion), the highest expenditure on a national infrastructure project to date.

It is widely believed that tickets will cost slightly less than an air ticket between the cities. Air tickets cost around 1,000 yuan, with a travel time of 90 minutes.


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