Port Vila, Vanuatu (PressExposure) January 07, 2010 -- China has made public what is said to be the fastest rail link in the world, AFP recently reported. A super high-speed bullet train, which is capable of reaching speeds of 400 kilometres per hour, now links the modern cities of Guangzhou and Wuhan.
The official Chinese news agency, Xinhua, reported that the ten and a half hour trip of 1,069 kilometres had been reduced to just three and a half hours.
The new link is aimed at ultimately joining Guangzhou, a business focal point in southern China near Hong Kong, with the capital Beijing. The project, which began in 2005, is part of a high-speed network of 42 lines that will be finished by 2012.
Zhang Shuguang, head of the transport bureau at the railways ministry advised Xinhua "The train can go 394.2 kilometres per hour; it's the fastest train in operation in the world".
By comparison, the average for high-speed trains in Japan was 243 kilometres per hour while in France it was 277 kilometres per hour, declared Xu Fangliang, general engineer in charge of designing the link. However, Franceâs TVG has the capacity of travelling at 515 kph, though it normally runs at around 300 kph.
In December 2003 the JR-Maglev MLX01, Japanese built train accomplished speeds of 581 kph. However, the Maglev line it needed to run on was only 30km long. The train arrived its destination in less than five minutes.
Some intercity flights in Europe have been cancelled because of the competition from high-speed rail travel. Nearly 90% of travelers choose to take the train between London and Paris. Flights between Paris and Brussels have been permanently cancelled.
"If you are travelling less than 15000 km, taking the train wins", said Rail Europe CEO Pierre-Stephane Austi. Railway stations are being redesigned as bustling centres in their own right. "They are modern, bigger, more beautiful, offering centres of real shopping and leisure".
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