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August 29, 2011

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Shanghai-Hangzhou trains slowing down

HIGH-SPEED trains running between Shanghai and Hangzhou, in neighboring Zhejiang Province, started running at slower speeds yesterday.

The trains, previously topping out at 350 kilometers per hour are being held to 300km/h, railway authorities said.

The ticket price also has gone down. The cost of a first-class ticket for trains from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station to Hangzhou will be cut to 124 yuan (US$19) from 131 yuan before, while that of standard tickets will be 78 yuan from 82 yuan, said the country's Ministry of Railways.

Even with the speed cut, it will take only about four minutes longer to reach Hangzhou.

But trains continuing on to Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, will also see speed reductions, increasing the time by 48 minutes to reach Fuzhou, Fujian Province, from Shanghai, and an hour longer to Xiamen in the same province.

Earlier this month, lines that run at 250km/h were cut back to 200km/h, including some services between Shanghai and Beijing.

To compensate for the cuts during the day, new bullet train services leaving at night and arriving the next morning along the Shanghai-Beijing route will start on Thursday. The cuts came because the China North Locomotive and Rolling Stock is recalling CRH380BL trains that have been involved in most of almost 40 breakdowns on the line since late June.

Officials at Shanghai Railway Station said passengers can buy bullet train tickets five days in advance.


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