Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Latest (and longest) China HSR line opens

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China Wednesday morning began high speed rail service connecting Beijing, the capital, with Guangzhou, in the nation's southeast, according to The New York Times.

Trains are scheduled to cover the new route in eight hours at top speeds of 186 mph, compared with 21 hours for conventional passenger rail service.

The route stretches 2,298 kilometers (1,425 miles), and is billed as the longest HSR run in the world to date. A U.S. equivalent would be a rail route connecting New York with Key West, Fla. The route has 35 stops, with service to major cities Wuhan and Changsha included.

The Times report notes China's ambitious HSR construction remains controversial, generating $640 billion in debt.