The world’s longest high-speed train travelling a distance of 2,298 km between Beijing in North China and Guangzhou in the south was successfully test-run over the weekend but could face problems because of high fares when operationalised later this week.
Currently, the distance takes more than 20 hours to cover. When the sleek bullet train begins operation from December 26, the time will be reduced to eight hours. A flight between the two cities takes around 3 hours.
This is the longest high-speed network after China launched the Beijing-Shanghai bullet train last year which brought down travel time to around five hours covering over 1,300 km distance between two of China's largest cities.
Designed with a maximum speed of 350 km per hour, the railway has 35 stops in major cities, including Shijiazhuang, Zhengzhou, Wuhan and Changsha.
The closest Indian comparison with the Beijing-Guangzhou line probably would be the New Delhi-Thiruvanthapuram line. While the distance between the two cities is around 2300 km, the Rajdhani connecting the two runs for an additional 700 km. The time taken: more than 40 hours.
During the test-run on Saturday, the high-speed train averaged around 300 km per hour and it took only two-and-half hours for it to cover the distance of 693 km between Beijing and Zhengzhou, the northern section of the entire route.
The new line’s expected to boost business travel from the north to the south, China’s manufacturing hub with a fertile river delta and sea ports.