China opens first very high-speed rail line

BEIJING - China's first very high-speed rail line went into operation Friday, linking Beijing to neighbouring Tianjin, where sporting events will be held during the Olympic Games.

By (AFP)

Published: Fri 1 Aug 2008, 2:32 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:47 AM

According the the Ministry of Railways, the 120-kilometre (75 mile) railway will be the first in the world in which trains can travel at 350 kilometres (217 miles) an hour.

The trains are expected to bring passengers from Beijing's newly opened southern station to the just renovated Tianjin station in 30 minutes -- twice as fast as existing services.

The high speed train marks a new stage in China's effort to upgrade its railways, with the last model of the CRH (China Railway High-speed) project only capable of attaining a maximum speed of 250 kilometres an hour.

The new train is manufactured with German technology, in a joint venture between Siemens and China Northern Locomotive and Rolling Stock Industry Corp.

The project was part of a multi-billion dollar effort to upgrade the infrastructure of the capital ahead of the Games which open next Friday.

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