London, Jul 23: The Chinese Railway Ministry is starting the world's fastest train service next Friday, linking Beijing with one of China's Olympic co-host cities, nearby Tianjin.
Zhang Shuguang, head of the Ministry's Transport Bureau, said that the new Chinese trains could ferry passengers at the speeds reaching 350 kilometres per hour. He said that the trains, which will have aircraft-like cabins rather than traditional carriages, have reached 394kph in tests. "Its operational speed is the fastest in the world. It's very comfortable and quiet. There's a French train that has gone 500kph in tests, but only in tests," New Scientist magazine quoted him as saying.
Media persons had a sneak preview of the trains on a government-organized trip on Tuesday. July 22. The Railway Ministry said that the trains could run on the new 2.93-billion-dollar Tianjin line every three minutes, and each train could carry around 600 people between landlocked Beijing and the port city of Tianjin.
Wang Yongping, a spokesman for the Railway Ministry, said that the ticket prices had yet to be set, though it would be "within the limits of what the masses can accept". He even told the media that the cavernous new Beijing South railway station was the largest in Asia. He said that the station would house connections to two subway lines, and a future high-speed railway to Shanghai.