China on 8 December opened a new high-speed railway line linking the eastern Chinese city of Jinan and the central Chinese city of Zhengzhou. The 407-km bullet train — or high-speed rail (HSR) as they are called in China — will travel at a speed of 350 km per hour.
It will cut the travel time between Jinan and Zhengzhou, the capital cities of Shandong and Henan province, from nearly four hours to one hour and 43 minutes.
While the section between Puyang in Henan province and Zhengzhou opened commercially in June 2022, the last section of the railway linking Jinan and Puyang officially opened on Friday, marking the full operation of the entire Jinan-Zhengzhou High-Speed Railway.
The Jinan-Zhengzhou high-speed railway is the latest section of China's high-speed rail network that centers around the "eight vertical lines" linking the north and south and "eight horizontal lines" connecting the east and west.
It also links Beijing-Shanghai HSR and Beijing-Guangzhou HSR, and hence, is expected to be an important connection line of the national railway network.
China’s HSR network is already the world’s largest. By 2022, the country had 42,000 km of operational high-speed railway, ranking first in the world.
A further 2,500 km will be added to the network this year, taking the total length to 44,500 km, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported, with plans to reach 50,000 km of HSR by 2025.
The first route, connecting Beijing and Tianjin, went online in 2008. In September 2023, the country inaugurated its first cross-sea high-speed rail line. The 277-km Fuzhou-Xiamen-Zhangzhou high-speed railway connects cities including Fuzhou and Xiamen along the west coast of the Taiwan Straits.
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