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Shanghai-Beijing high-speed railway tickets to cost about 500 yuan

A SINGLE trip on the under construction high-speed railway between Shanghai and Beijing will probably cost around 500 yuan (US$73.17), today's Beijing News reported.

But the final fare will not be finalized until the National Reform and Development Commission approves it, the report cited Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway officials as saying.

The railway is expected to open in 2012.

Officials believe the proposed price is competitive with airfares between the cities. Roundtrip flights between Shanghai and Beijing cost 1,130 yuan at full price, but discounts are often available.

The 500 yuan is lower than the 800 yuan operational cost for the trip, based on the 0.45 yuan to 0.5 yuan cost per kilometer along the 1,318-kilometer line, according to officials.

They said the line's construction and financing has gone better than expected and the line will be completed by the end of next year.

When it is put into service in 2012, the shortest interval between two trains will be a mere 5 minutes.

Officials said they will introduce sleeper coaches later to attract business travelers and offer a more comfortable traveling experience.

Construction on the railway started in April. Connecting Shanghai's Hongqiao Railway Station and Beijing's South Railway Station, the line will have 21 stations along the route with trains running at up to 380 kilometers per hour.


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