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December 10, 2010

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High-speed link to Beijing by autumn

THE long-awaited Shanghai-Beijing high-speed rail service will be up and running by next October, sources close to the project said yesterday.

Shanghai railway police said thousands of officers will be drafted in to "ensure the smooth opening of the Shanghai-Beijing rail route by October 1 next year."

But Shanghai Railway Bureau, the regional rail operator and supervisor, declined to comment, saying it has not received any notice from the state rail authority.

The city saw two high-speed rail routes open this year, linking Shanghai to neighboring Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces.

The route to Beijing will be city's third high-speed link.

The Shanghai-Beijing route is still undergoing tests.

Last Friday, one of the bullet trains broke its own world record, reaching 486.1 kilometers per hour during a test run. When in service it will have a maximum speed of 380kph and can maintain a constant speed of 350kph.

The bullet trains are expected to complete the 1,318-kilometer journey from Shanghai to the capital in four hours - half the current time. Each train will carry around 1,000 passengers.

The rail authorities did not disclose ticket prices, but insiders said the standard price will be 630 yuan (US$94.56), based at the unit price of 0.484 yuan per kilometer.

When Shanghai's other high-speed links opened this year, passengers complained about a 50 percent price increase compared with older services.

China has 7,531 kilometers of high-speed track, the world's longest, and expects to build 13,000km by 2012.


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