Looking to take a vacation? Well, you can now officially zip down to Kunming aboard China’s newest high-speed rail line which opened on Thursday.
The new trains will whisk travelers from Shanghai to Kunming, traveling 2,252 kilometers in just 10 hours and 36 minutes. Previously, the only way to get between the cities by rail was to hop on a hellishly slow train that took 35-40 hours to make the journey.
The railway is already being called “China’s most beautiful” as it passes through rugged parts of Guizhou and Yunnan provinces. However, that beauty comes with a price — 879 yuan for a second-class seat and 1,475 yuan for a first-class seat. The fact that you can easily find plane tickets between the two cities at those prices might mean trouble for this rail line.
But nothing will stop China’s one-track optimism when it comes to railways. This year, China Railway Corp is expecting over 3 billion trips taken for the first time. At the same time, China plans to add thousands of kilometers of new track, giving them a total of 22,000 km of high-speed track. That is projected to expand to 30,000 km by 2020 and then grow to 45,000 km by 2030.
Earlier this week, China launched a new freight train that will travel over 12,000 kilometers from Yiwu to London. That trip takes 18 days.
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