The Shanghai-Nanjing intercity high-speed train entered service on Friday, July 2, 2010, adding to China fast-growing portfolio of express trains (see news).
The event also marked the launch of the Shanghai Hongqiao Station, linked to Terminal 2 of Hongqiao International Airport, which opened in March.
According to state media, the journey between Shanghai and Nanjing, which used to take two hours and 30 minutes, is now 73 minutes, with the trains travelling at a speed of 350km per hour.
The 200-metre, white coloured trains feature eight carriages and 557 seats. The first train departs at 6am and the last train departs at 8.30pm. Besides linking Shanghai and Nanjing, six other cities including the tourist destinations of Zhenjiang, Hangzhou, Wuxi and Suzhou also form part of the route.
The new service was not without its teething problems. The South China Morning Post wrote about widespread complaints about the one-way ticket price of CNY146 (US$21.53) – up 50 percent from CNY93 (US$13.71) – and longer than expected journey times. Its reporters observed that the train they rode "maintained speeds of between 160km/h and just above 200km/h – comparable to the D-class service and way below the advertised 350km/h".
Margie T Logarta