China Embarks on Longest High Speed Rail Line

china HSRThis past Wednesday, China initiated service on “the world’s longest high-speed rail line,” which runs between Beijing and Guangzhou (approximately the distance between New York and Key West, FL).  This now eight hour trip, will move passengers at 300 km, or 186 mph, compared to older trains still in use which take 21 hours for the same trip.  An Amtrak trip from New York to Miami, takes nearly 30  hours.

“Completion of the Beijing-Guangzhou route — roughly 1,200 miles — is the latest sign that China has resumed rapid construction on one of the world’s largest and most ambitious infrastructure projects, a network of four north-south routes and four east-west routes that span the country.’

The project meant the hiring of up to 100,000 workers for each line, helping to keep unemployment at bay as private-sector construction has decreased because of limits on real estate speculation.  “The national network has helped to reduce air pollution in Chinese cities and helped to curb demand for imported diesel fuel by freeing capacity on older rail lines for goods to be carried by freight trains instead of heavily polluting, costlier trucks.”

To read more, see the full article in The New York Times.