A great alternative to flying between China’s main cities.
The opening last month of the rail line between the capital, Beijing, and the southern commercial hub of Guangzhou means passengers can now cover the 2,298-kilometre route in just eight hours, a trip that used to take 22 hours.
The Beijing-Guangzhou high-speed railway is the world’s longest high-speed rail with 35 stations in major Chinese cities.
Even though the high-speed rail network was established only in 2007, China now has the biggest in the world, with 9,356km of high-speed railways. Today, more people in China are travelling by high-speed rail than are flying.
The Guangzhou to Beijing high-speed train opened just in time for the world’s greatest annual migration, the movement of hundreds of millions of people from the cities to their ancestral hometowns to mark China’s Lunar New Year holiday period, which starts this year on February 9. The Chinese take two billion trips at this time of year, and already there is pressure on the ticketing system, although few migrant workers will be taking the high-speed rail home to see their families.