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November 30, 2010

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Sichuan bullet train plan

BULLET trains could soon be running between the city and Sichuan Province, cutting the journey time in half, according to the Shanghai Railway Administration.

Shanghai's railway authority said yesterday that a plan to launch bullet trains on January 1 has been submitted to the national railway authorities.

It involves operating bullet trains on routes between Shanghai and Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, and Shanghai and Chongqing Municipality.

The local railway authorities confirmed the existence of the plan yesterday after an article detailing next year's new bullet train schemes received widespread attention online.

The author claims to be a railway insider.

Many Sichuan natives live and work in Shanghai. As a result, train tickets to the province are always in huge demand at the Spring Festival, when people return to their hometowns for the holiday.

In 2011, the Spring Festival falls in February, and if the plan gets the go-ahead, homebound Sichuan travelers will be among the first to enjoy the much shorter journey time.

Currently, it takes trains 30 to 40 hours to travel from Shanghai to Chengdu or Chongqing. Bullet train can make the same journey in between 14 to 20 hours.

However, bullet train tickets are generally 50 percent more expensive than those for the older-generation trains.


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