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High-speed link from Shanghai to Hangzhou under way

CONSTRUCTION on the 29.68 billion yuan (US$4.34 billion) Shanghai-Hangzhou high-speed railway started today.

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

The Shanghai-Hangzhou high-speed rail link will have a top speed of 350 kilometers per hour and will have nine stations on its 159-kilomete route. The stations will be Shanghai Hongqiao Station, Songjiang South Station, Fengjing South Station in Shanghai, Jiashan South Station, Jiaxing South Station, Tongxiang Station, Haining West Station, Yuhang South Station, and Hangzhou East Station in Zhejiang Province.

Intervals between trains will be just three minutes. When it begins operation, the line will handle 210 trains in each direction every day and this may rise 235.

People in Hongqiao will be able to travel more quickly to Songjiang District on the new train than the Metro, which has a maximum speed of 80 kilometers per hour.

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

Last April construction started on the 1318-kilometer Shanghai-Beijing high-speed railway at a cost of 220 billion yuan. It will shorten the traveling time between the two cities to just over five hours.

The railway ministry also plans to build new rail links to connect Changzhou and Suzhou, Suzhou and Jiaxing, and Hangzhou and Ningbo, completing a rail network in the Yangtze Delta region by 2020.


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