China has just opened the latest link in its high-speed train network – a line from the country’s financial centre Shanghai to Hangzhou in the Yangtze River Delta.
With a top speed of 356 kilometres per hour, travel time between the two cities has been almost halved to 45 minutes.
The new link brings China’s total high-speed rail network to nearly 7,500 kilometres.
The Railway Ministry is proud of the fact that all the train technology, design and equipment is home grown though acknowledged the programme started with help from long-time bullet train builder Japan and other countries.
China plans to build 13,000 kilometres of high-speed railways by 2012 – more than the rest of the world combined – at a cost of 86 billion euros and including a high-speed rail link between the capital, Beijing and Shanghai.
By 2020 the network is planned to serve more than 90 percent of the population at a projected cost of more than 200 billion euros.