China’s 2, 298-kilometer (1, 428-mile) high-speed rail line will begin passenger service in two days.
The high-speed rail line, the longest in the world, has already been tested, and the results show that bullet-trains leaving from Beijing to Guangzhou city can travel at 300 kilometers per hour, which means that travel time from Beijing to the Pearl River Delta will be shortened from 24 hours to only 8 hours.
After the tragic bullet-train accident which took place in July 2011, China accelerated railway investment for new safety measures. As of October railway investment increased almost 250% compared with the same period last year.
“Government-driven investment has quick effects on boosting growth in the short term,” said Yuan Gangming, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government think-tank based in Beijing. “But you can’t rely on investment to drive growth forever.”
According to officials the bullet-train line will be extended to Hong Kong and will compete with China Southern Airlines A830s flying between the cities. A flight takes about 3 hours and an economy yicket costs 1,620 yuan ($260). According to China’s state television competition will be intense between the new railway line and the airline companies.