Bullet trains ahead of schedule
March 27, 2010 | Posted by Chris
Officials behind the construction of the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway say it is set to begin operation next year, the China Daily reports. Initially planned to open in 2012, the railway is now a year ahead of schedule, painting a rosy picture of the state of China's high-speed railway development. The first major high-speed rail project in China, the Beijing-Shanghai line is projected to cut transit time between the two cities by 6 hours -- down to 4 hours from the present 10-hour overnight trip. These next generation trains will travel at speeds of 230-260 miles per hour, and more than 6,000 miles of high-speed rails are presently under construction in China. Authorities envision a sophisticated national network of high-speed rails that will make most provincial capitals less than 8 hours apart from each other, totaling over 30,000 miles of high-speed track by 2020. As a result of this commitment, China is emerging as a leader in high-speed train technology, and it is already at work on projects in Turkey and Venezuela -- and Chinese companies are in talks with governments in the United States, Brazil and Russia to help them develop high-speed rails as well. "China is willing to share its mature and advanced technology with other countries to promote development of the world's high-speed railways," says Chinese Vice-Minister Wang Zhiguo.