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October 18, 2010

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Home » Metro » Public Services

High-speed link hits the buffers with 2-hour delay

SPEEDY it may be, but thousands of passengers on the first high-speed rail link between Shanghai and Nanjing were left going nowhere fast on Saturday, following a power glitch.

The Shanghai Railway Bureau, the city's train operator, apologized yesterday for the incident, which disrupted services for two hours, but affected passengers have not been offered compensation.

"It was even slower than regular trains," complained one passenger, surnamed Liu, who took a train from Jiangsu Province's Nanjing to Shanghai on Saturday.

Liu told a local evening newspaper the train stopped for no apparent reason soon after it left Nanjing at 1:15pm. Half an hour later, Liu said passengers were told there was "an emergency repair ahead."

The service resumed at 2:45pm and reached Shanghai at 4pm, almost two hours behind schedule.

The trip usually lasts 75 minutes, at a top speed of 350 kilometers per hour.

More than ten train services were affected by the disruption. There are around 200 train services between Shanghai and Nanjing each day.

Equipment was affected by a power glitch at a stop in Jiangsu Province, according to the railway bureau. The problem was fixed by 2:40pm, officials said.

Officials added that the line is still in its one-year shakedown period.

However, the breakdown has concerned travelers, as another high-speed rail route, Shanghai to Hangzhou, is set to open this month.

"It's totally pointless paying such high ticket prices if passengers are going to be stranded on the trains," wrote one passenger online.

Passengers saw a 56 percent price jump after the Shanghai-Nanjing route opened. A ticket costs 146 yuan (US$22).

The Shanghai-Hangzhou line will be city's second high-speed railway whose speed reaches 350 km/h.

Authorities said over the weekend that a trip by route is expected to take longer than the previously estimated 38 minutes, as a new stop in Hangzhou is not yet complete.


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