China plans 236 mph rail link between Shanghai and Beijing

The Chinese rail Ministry has announced plans to link the nations capital with its financial capital. Beijing and Shanghai are a little over 650 miles apart, and the current rail link takes over 10 hours.

The Chinese claim to have mastered the technology required to build their own high speed trains, and plan to operate them on the new line at speeds up to 236mph (380 km/h) which should cut the current journey time in half.

Previous high speed rail projects in China include one of the first commercial Maglev links which operates between Shanghai and the airport. In 2005 a regular high speed link between Beijing and Tianjin was opened and is based on the highly successful German ICE rolling stock.

High speed rail links have changed the landscape in Europe, and dedicated high speed lines already link the UK with France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany.

Being able to commute from city center to city center in under 5 hours will prove to be a very efficient solution in China, and will most certainly eat away at the airline market. The line is scheduled to be completed in 2012, a mere 4 years from now.