On Wednesday of this week, China launched a new rail line that has earned the distinction of becoming the longest high-speed train in the world. The new route, which runs from Beijing to Guangzhou, is nearly 1430 miles in length and features a train that can hit average speeds of 186 mph, shaving hours of travel time.
The new train isn’t the fastest in the world, as several top out above 200 mph, but none travel such long distances at these high speeds. The Beijing-Guangzhou route once took 22 hours to complete with standard trains, but with the new high-speed version that time has been shaved to just eight hours. That includes stops in Shijiazhuang, Zhengzhou, Wuhan and Changsha along the way as well.
With the launch of this new line, China has now managed to build more than 5780 miles of high-speed rail in just five years. But the country has ambitious plans for the future, as eight similar long distance routes are expected to open by the end of the decade. Those new routes, along with continued expansion elsewhere, will increase the mileage to more than 30,000, easily making it the most extensive high-speed train system in the world.
These new high-speed trains are a boon for local commuters of course, but they can benefit travelers to China as well. These rail lines will allow visitors to quickly and comfortably explore distant parts of the country with ease, making travel throughout the vast Chinese countryside a breeze. Considering the unique and distinct cultures that exist in the various corners of China, that is an exciting prospect for tourism there.
[Photo Credit: Khalidshou vis WikiMedia]