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China’s new high-speed train clocks about 200 miles per hour

Tech World Events

China’s new high-speed train clocks about 200 miles per hour

Jorge Hernandez June 27, 2011

A new train from Beijing to Shanghai will get passengers from one city to the other in about four hours, a trip that used to take almost ten hours.

A plan between Shanghai and Beijing takes about two hours.

According to Reuters, the new train also signifies China's "race to the future."

"This is the pride of China and the Chinese people," He Huawu, the Ministry of Railways chief engineer, told the news source.

He added: "It took just 39 months to build such a high-standard and world-renowned high-speed rail line, which is a gift for the 90th anniversary of the Party."

A separate Reuters highlighted the train's safety standards, which have been a source of controversy. The $33-billion railway can reach a speed of 220 miles per hour, about 250 kilometers, but some officials have said that the top speed is unsafe.

However, He Huawu have told news sources that those claims are "groundless."

Corruption charges have also plagued a high-ranking railways official. Minister Liu Zhijun lost his job due to allegations of bribery to the sum of $123 million.

In the larger context of China's development and transportation needs, the news source reports that if more passengers take the high-speed rail between Beijing and Shanghai, the older railways can be used for the transport of supplies such as grains and coal, a change from the oil freight trains that would benefit China's growing economy.

The high-speed rail is set to launch in a few days, featuring business class accommodations and a no-smoking policy.