. Earth Science News .

China's key high-speed rail to open July 1: report
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) June 23, 2011

China's much-anticipated high-speed rail link between Beijing and Shanghai will go into service on July 1, state media said Thursday, after a corruption scandal that toppled the former railways minister.

A ceremony will be held on June 30 to mark the opening of the link, before trains go into commercial use on July 1, the Xinhua news agency reported, citing the railways ministry.

The ministry declined to confirm the start date when contacted by AFP.

The $33 billion link, which has been operating on a trial basis since mid-May, will cut the journey between the two cities to four hours and 45 minutes -- two hours less than the fastest current trip by train.

The Beijing-Shanghai flight takes about two hours. But travel to the airports is in itself time-consuming, and the busy air route is often subject to delays and cancellations, making train travel an attractive option.

One-way ticket prices will range between 410 yuan and 1750 yuan ($63 and $270) subject to further adjustments, vice rail minister Hu Yadong said last week, compared to about 1,300 yuan for a flight between the two cities.

Work on the high-speed railway started in April 2008 with a planned investment of 220.9 billion yuan.

China has invested heavily in its high-speed rail network, which reached 8,358 kilometres (5,180 miles) at the end of 2010 and is expected to exceed 13,000 kilometres by 2012 and 16,000 kilometres by 2020.

But huge investment has also made the sector a hotbed for corruption, which has raised concerns over the costs and safety of the high-speed rail links.

China's state auditor in March revealed that construction companies and individuals had last year siphoned off 187 million yuan ($28.9 million) in funds meant for the Beijing-Shanghai link.

This followed the sacking of former railways minister Liu Zhijun in February, who had allegedly taken more than 800 million yuan in kickbacks on contracts linked to China's high-speed rail network.

The railway ministry has said the trains would run between 250 and 300 kilometres (155 and 188 miles) per hour on the Beijing-Shanghai link, although the line is designed for a maximum speed of 380 kph.

The speed is in line with a nationwide directive made public in April that said all high-speed trains must run at a slower pace than previously announced -- no faster than 300 kph -- to make journeys safer.

The speed of trains on the fast rail linking Wuhan in central China and Guangzhou in the south would also be lowered to 250 and 300 kilometres per hour from the beginning of next month from the current 350 kph.

Zhou Yimin, a former deputy chief engineer of the railway ministry, said Liu's claims that China's high-speed trains could run at 350 kph or even 380 kph was "fraudulent" and totally ignored safety, Chinese media said this week.

China has not acquired core technologies of high-speed trains and all the key parts of its trains running at speed above 200 kph are bought from foreign companies like Siemens, he said, according to the reports.

Related Links
Great Train Journey's of the 21st Century

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries

. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

In search of a safer, more profitable and more efficient railway system
Madrid, Spain (SPX) Jun 22, 2011
In spite of the fact that the railway industry has two centuries of experience behind it, in order to continue improving the research being done on the safety, profitability and efficiency of railroads, it will be necessary to develop and strengthen the relationship between universities and companies in the sector. This is one of the main conclusions that have come out of an international ... read more

TEPCO books more than $1.5 bn in additional losses

Quake-hit Christchurch home owners to learn fate

Japan govt extends session amid turmoil

Weather catastrophes in China soar: reinsurer

Stretching Old Material Yields New Results for Energy

Rare earth minerals prices skyrocket

Tablet war heats up as Asia challenges iconic iPad

Android phones to pit vampires against slayers

Three Gorges tarnishes new hydropower?

Fastest sea level rise in two millennia linked to increasing temperatures

Ocean's harmful low-oxygen zones growing, are sensitive to small changes in climate

Iraq: Faw fishermen trapped by maritime disputes

NASA to embark on last leg of Arctic sea study

Life Between Snowball Earths

Arctic snow harbors deadly assassin

Glaciations may have larger influence on biodiversity than current climate

New curation tool a boon for genetic biologists

Native Bees are Selective about Where They Live and Feed

Philippines' Jollibee food chain eyes China

Where have all the flowers gone?

Flight chaos in Australia as ash cloud returns

14 dead in widespread Philippine floods

Ash clouds blacken Aussie tourism woes

Mexico's Pacific coast hit by hurricane

Somalia Islamists vow loyalty to Zawahiri

Sudan army 'to fight by all means' in border state

Abyei clashes 'resume' on Sudan's embattled border

UN condemns North Sudan offensive

Can humans sense the Earth's magnetism

Walker's World: Here come the 'age wars'

Family genetic research reveals the speed of human mutation

Bones give peek at key evolutionary period

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement