The story appears on

Page A3

October 27, 2010

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Public Services

High-speed thrills on new line

RAILWAY enthusiast Wang Shenjie had little interest in sitting down and relaxing as he sped between Shanghai and Hangzhou in the first passenger trip by the world's fastest train yesterday, he was too busy taking photographs.

G5001, the first train along the new line, left Shanghai's Hongqiao Railway Station at 9am, and arrived at the picturesque city of Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province - 202 kilometers away - 40 minutes later, and five minutes ahead of schedule.

The high-speed Shanghai-Hangzhou service travels at up to 350 kilometers per hour. In trials, it clocked a world record of 416km/h.

Wang and four fellow train fans traveled from different parts of the country to experience the inaugural trip.

"It was difficult to get tickets for this first trip," said Wang. They were also among the first passengers to board Shanghai's first high-speed rail link, between the city and Nanjing, on July 1.

Yesterday, many people were eager to experience a ride in one of the high-speed trains, which cost more than 100 million yuan (US$15 million) each, while others on the return took a speedy trip to Shanghai for the World Expo.

Lucky chance brought American Bradley Bodell and his family onto the train for a trip to Shanghai. They didn't realize that they were booked on the high-speed service until they took their seats.

"I may try the train again on my return trip," said Bodell, as his son, Brenner, 14, took photographs of the landscape as they sped past.

However, not all passengers enjoyed their trip. "I won't use this train unless it's for last-minute business meetings," said a passenger who had to stand in the carriage walkway from Hangzhou to Shanghai.

He was unimpressed at having to pay 82 yuan for a standing ticket, the same price as passengers with seats pay.

The bullet train, which has eight carriages and carries 400 passengers, has capacity for 40 passengers to stand. Some VIP boxes, which cost 246 yuan, were empty.

Prices on the high-speed link are around 50 percent higher than older trains, which has drawn criticism, not helped when the operator boasted that Hangzhou residents can now go to Shanghai for work and get back for dinner. Critics have questioned who could afford to spend more than 160 yuan a day traveling to work.

Wang Yongping, spokesman of the Ministry of Railway, said he "has high hopes for the new line."

The line will be a major part of the high-speed rail network in the Yangtze Delta Region, with at least four bullet train routes. The Shanghai-Beijing route will be up and running by the end of next year, Wang said. The route to Hong Kong will also soon be ready.

Wang also said that the Shanghai-Nanjing line has seen 90 percent of seats filled, proving that demand is high.

Meanwhile, bus operators have in Shanghai lowered the Shanghai-Hangzhou bus ticket price from 68 to 48 yuan.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend