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Shanghai to Hangzhou in 45 Minutes Courtesy of World’s Fastest Train

Oct. 27 – Operating at speeds of up to 350 kilometers per hour (220 miles per hour), China’s domestically built CRH380 train began service between Shanghai and Hangzhou on Tuesday.

The new US$4.4 billion ultra high-speed railway cuts the previous transit time in half, making the 202 kilometer run from Shanghai’s new Hongqiao Railway Station to Hangzhou Station in about 45 minutes.

During testing, the CRH380 was clocked at 420 kilometers per hour (262 mph), setting a new world record. The achievement is a well-deserved victory for China’s ambitious high-speed rail program which is expected to have 42 passenger rail lines and a total track length of 13,000 kilometers by 2012.

Included in that 2012 forecast is the US$32.5 billion, 1,318-kilometer (824 mile) Beijing-to-Shanghai high-speed rail project that will cut the travel time between the nation’s political and commercial centers to just under four hours.

Wang Yongping, spokesman for China’s Railway Ministry, said that all the technology, design and equipment used to construct the CRH380 is China’s own, but he acknowledged that the program began in cooperation with Japan and other countries.

“Now other countries are wanting to cooperate with us. They all want our technology,” Wang told reporters on Tuesday.

Tickets for the new Shanghai-to-Hangzhou high-speed rail went on sale last Friday at RMB82 for a 2nd class seat and RMB131 for a 1st class ticket departing from Shanghai’s Hongqiao Railway station 45 times daily. Prices go up to RMB98 for a 2nd class seat and RMB156 for 1st class tickets during the five daily trips that leave from Shanghai Station (07:50, 09:01, 14:50, 18:29, and 20:19).

Rail travel is the preferred mode of transportation for many Chinese, so the country’s efforts to replace outdated, slower trains with new high-speed rail systems are well intended, and necessary. But escalating train fares have prompted complaints from some passengers who would rather forgo the speedy transit in exchange for a cheaper ticket.

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18 Responses to Shanghai to Hangzhou in 45 Minutes Courtesy of World’s Fastest Train

  1. Deek says:

    Kudos to Chinese. Good for people.

  2. Abdulsabur says:

    China is the leader of the world america owned a name.Kudos shongai keep it up you are helping the world.

  3. This is amazingly great work of PRC technology and I’m pretty much sure that this great machine and its concept will definitely benefit the whole world.


  4. Vijay says:

    All the best for China (my neighbor country).

  5. Vijay says:

    Keep it upppppppppp and beat US.

  6. ajay says:

    Looks good. So who is going to travel in these trains? Peasants,workers perhaps, getting late for everyday work. Trains are my preferred mode of travel. Wonder if China will share technology with other poor countries? I hope they help Pakistan in developing infrastructure apart from military infrastructure.
    I never understood why budget of everything China does is so high? Where the money gets spent? Does corruption takes away a chunk or does China puts emphasis on quality?

  7. Mashaal says:

    Error Check: that should be reading 325 km in 45 minutes.

    Doing the math 325km/0.75hour gives me a speed of around 433km/h

  8. The_Observer says:

    There are enough middle-class commuters and business travellers in China that use her HSR. The occupancy rate for Chinese HSR trains runs at an average of 84% and they are taking some business away from Chinese airlines.
    The budget for Chinese HSR at roughly USD 25 million per km is comparable with other such systems built in Europe and Japan. There the avergage cost varies from Euro 9 – 40 million per km depending on land acquisition costs, any bridges to be built, tunnels to be dug, gradients, track tolerances, etc. Also while land costs may be negligible for China’s HSR she is also using the latest imported rail technology as well as developing her own. This is more costly than using existing technology.

  9. Chris Devonshire-Ellis says:

    There is an issue that average Chinese cannot afford to take such trains.

  10. Sai says:

    cool toy naa… going over 420kmph… btw does anyone know how to apply for its driver job 😀

    jokes apart… I believe the commuter traffic between Hangzhou n Shanghai to be pretty high for its implementation. Can anyone supply the figures? also keeping the fare low n sustanable is the key. I believe 80RMB(11USD/530INR) is low enough for the common people(if not daily biznes users).

    Do u know wht is the investment recovery time for this project?

    If economical, these could reduce aircraft pollution, and free the freight lines at the same time.


  11. Sai says:

    @ Mashaal

    Dividing 200 by 45mins gives 450kmph

    but the train needs some acceleration n deceleration spots, so i dont think the reported data is wrong.


  12. hamster says:

    Just to correct a small error in the article. There are three major railway stations in Shanghai and trips to different station cost differently. The fare from Shanghai Hongqiao Station (a new HSR station next to Shanghai’s second airport) to Hangzhou is RMB 82(2nd class)/131 (1st class) and is always fixed regardless of rush hour or not. The RMB 156 ticket is for train traveling from Shanghai Station (old station in downtown area) to Hangzhou.

    @ajay: the cost is considerably low compared to other similar projects due to cheap labor and domestically produced rail tracks. The construction of this new line started in Feb 2009, so the tight schedule may also increase the budget a little bit.

    @ Chris: Besides the 50 daily trips by CRH380, there are also 30 daily trips by older trains traveling at 250 kmph on this new line(they used to travel from Shanghai South Station to Hangzhou), which costs RMB 54 (2nd class)/64 (1st class). So for those who want to travel fast enough but do not want to spend that much, the older train is still quite a good choice. The minimum wage in these two cities is like RMB 7 per hour, so it is quite affordable for most travelers.

    The demand for the Shanghai-Hangzhou line is very high. After they turn the old conventional rail into a freight rail, this new HSR will be very busy. That is why they are still going to extend the maglev from Shanghai to Hangzhou after the EXPO, which can travel at top speed of 500 kmph (currently only 431 kmph can be achieved due to short distance). The maglev line has been seriously delayed because of huge protests due to environmental concern.

  13. Chris Devonshire-Ellis says:

    I don’t think they’re going with the Maglev, it’s too expensive to build. – Chris

  14. Sai says:

    @hamster n Chris:
    this one takes 45mins, so why a maglev? isn’t it foolish to cannibalize the market? also we may save only 10-15mins with a maglev, and adding it before recovering the investment on this CRH would be unadvisable. lets see wht happens…


  15. hamster says:

    @ Chris and Sai

    Actually the cost to build a maglev is not that high compared to current HSR. The cost for the current airport maglev line was $40 million per km (counting train and land acquisition costs), as you can see from The_Observer’s reply, ‘the budget for Chinese HSR at roughly USD 25 million per km’. If they are able to use domestically produced maglev trains (one has already been running on the current airport line for testing for half a year), the cost will be further reduced. The current airport line is too short (only 30km) to show the advantage of maglev, the train has to decelerate right after it achieves top speed. The maglev has super acceleration ability which will make the whole trip FASTER with MORE intermediate stops–very attractive as an inter-city line. The maglev will be extended to the city’s second airport anyway, so let’s see if it can be further extended to Hangzhou in the near future (both were officially approved in March).

    If the maglev is not extended to Hangzhou, then there will be a second high speed rail built from Shanghai to Hangzhou instead. Here is the thing, the new line opened on this Tuesday is part of the national HSR network, and there will be more long-distance high speed trains running on it once the other sections are finished. So there is the demand for another inter-city rail.

    The Yangtze delta is one of China’s three major economic hubs which need as many as inter city lines for commuting. There has already been an inter-city high speed rail between Shanghai and another neighboring city Nanjing, and when Beijing-Shanghai HSR is operational in 2012, there will be two parallel high speed rails between Shanghai and Nanjing (current inter-city rail running at 350km/h and future Shanghai-Nanjing section on Beijing-Shanghai HSR running at 380km/h). This will be the same case for Shanghai and Hangzhou. The only question is what will be the Shanghai-Hangzhou inter-city line, the maglev or high speed rail. Besides, the intercity high speed rail between Nanjing and Hangzhou is also under construction.

    Hope my explanation could be helpful.

  16. The_Observer says:

    And moving on to the next generation of 500km per hour HSR trains, the Chinese are developing an after-burner for diesel and electrical trains. See:

  17. Dave says:

    Me and wife traveled on this train, it is very impressive. The journey does go up to 350 km/h and it is ultra smooth. Australia needs these trains.

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