High-Speed Train Service between Beijing and Shanghai to Start in June

By the end of June this year, travelers will be able to take much faster trains to get from Beijing to Shanghai and vice versa. The new high-speed rail between the two largest cities of China has been completed and the launching of passenger service is just about three months away.

Measured 1,318 km (819 mi) in length, the new fast rail line is the longest of its kind in China. Once the bullet train service is in operation, rail travel time between Beijing and Shanghai will be reduced by about half, from the current 9 nine hours to less than 5 hours. The trains will be running at speeds as high as 350 km (217 mi) per hour. Currently it takes just a little over two hours to fly from Beijing to Shanghai. It is estimated that on a given over 200,000 travelers will ride the Beijing-Shanghai high speed trains. 

A total of 24 stations are built on the new rail line. Among the cities serviced by the high-speed trains are Tianjin, Jinan, Qufu (Confucius' hometown), Nanjing, Zhenjiang, Changzhou, Wuxi, Suzhou, and Kunshan.


Dear all,

Can anyone kindly tell me when is this service exactly going to start


High-speed trains between Beijing and Shanghai have been making trial runs since mid-May. It is believed that the trial period will continue till June 19. It is very likely that customer service will begin at the end of June (July First is the birthday of the Communist Party and the Chinese government often chooses a celebrative date like this to launch a major project). 

When passenger service begins, on a daily basis there will be 90 trains going in both directions. Some are faster than others. The fastest finish the whole trip of 1,300 km in 5 five hours. Some trains make non-stop runs between Beijing and Shanghai while others make some stops en route. It is also said that ticketing policy will change - to prevent hoarding and profiteering, purchasers of the tickets need to show identification cards and  their names are attached to their tickets. No word yet how much tickets will cost. Since it takes only 5 hours to get from Beijing and Shanghai, the train service is going to pose stiff competition to air services (flight time two hours). So one may expect pricing to be comparable to airfares.

Dear Sir,

Thanks for your response, I am going to go to China on 22nd of June. My trip would start from Gunagzhou-->Yiwu/Youngkang-->Nanjing-->Tianjin. Kindly advice how can make this trip in the cheapest and fastest way possible. I want to avoid flying as it would cost a lot

If you don't want to fly, you can travel by train for long stretches of your trip. The challenge is to secure your train tickets in a timely fashion as they may be hard to find. Train tickets are sold about 10 days in advance, but for the most part they're sold only in the city where one boards the train. You may therefore need assistance in purchasing your train tickets in advance for you - friends, travel agents, the hotels where you stay, etc. In some cases you may be able to get tickets on the day of your travel, but one should not count on it. so that's the challenge with train travel. For shorter trips you can long distance coaches.

There are three trains that run from Guangzhou to Yiwu, one departuring early in the morning and the other two in the afternoon. Train ride time is 16-17 hours. The two afternoon departures seem better since they arrive early in the morning rather than midnight. Given the length of the trip, you should definitely get yourself a sleeping berth. Hard berth ticket costs a little more than ¥300 whereas a soft berth ticket costs close to ¥500. In comparison, a plane ticket from Guangzhou to Yiwu costs about ¥800 (with taxes and fees included), depending when and how you book. Flight time is one hour and forty-five minutes.

Yongkang is about two hours away from Yiwu. You can take either long distance bus or train. There should be quite a few bus departures. Try Yiwu Jiangdong Bus Station. There are several trains going to Yongkang, but most of the depart at night (Yiwu is just a stopover not originating station) and arrive at inconvenient hours. One of them depart around noon time. Bus or train, cost for the trip from Yiwu to Yongkang should be around ¥30.

There are three trains that go from Yong Kang to Nanjing. All of them depart in the afternoon and arrive at the inconveniet small hours in the morning. Train ride time is 10-11 hours. Sleeping berth tickets cost ¥170-270. If you go to Jinhua, which is about an hour west of Yongkang (and an hour south of Yiwu), you'll find a few more trains that go to Nanjing, but they're mostly overnight trains too. Trains there depart from Jinhua West Station (Jinhua Xi) In Yiwu you may also be able to find long distance coaches to Nanjing. It is a long bus ride, however, about 600 km. It should be Yiwu Biwang Bus Station.

There are quite a few trains going from Nanjing to Tianjing. The fastest trains make the trip in 7 hours or so; the slowers 14-16 hours. Sleeping berth tickets should be about ¥250-350. If you fly from Nanjing to Tianjin, airfare is ¥900-1,100.

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