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06-30-2011, 10:31 PM #1
China flags off Beijing-Shanghai bullet train
China on Thursday flagged off its much talked about high-speed bullet trains linking Beijing and Shanghai ahead of friday's 90th anniversary of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC).
The train cuts the travel time of the 1,318-km route to just 5 hours, half of what it took previously.
Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao travelled by the first train to Shanghai after formally flagging if off in Beijing.
The train links China's prosperous Pan-Bohai and Yangtze River Delta economic zones, cutting the train-travel time between the two cities to under five hours.
The bullet trains were currently being operated between several Chinese cities. However, Beijing-Shanghai covers the longest distance.
The Beijing-Shanghai train track was laid at the cost 215 billion yuan ($32.5 billion). A one-way ticket on this route will cost $63-270. It is expected to carry 80 million passengers a year.
The train travels at a maximum operating speed of about 300 kph (185 mph) instead of originally targeted 350 kph (216 mph) for safety reasons.
The train was also launched amid reports that the costs involved in running high speed trains, which also needed special tracks were driving the railway into heavy debt.
CRH-380A is one of the four Chinese train series, which have been designed to run at an operating speed of 380 km/hr (236 mph) on newly constructed high-speed railway network....being a human...