China launched services on the world’s longest high-speed railway line on December 26, 2012. It is the latest milestone in the country’s rapidly growing network of super-fast trains. The opening of the 2,298-km line between Beijing and Guangzhou means that passengers will now be able to journey between the capital and the southern commercial hub in just eight hours, compared with 22 hours earlier.
China’s high-speed rail network was established in 2007. In just half a decade, it has become the world’s largest such network. According to China’s official Xinhua news agency, the country now operates 9,300 km of high-speed railways. The Chinese Government says that the country’s high-speed rail network is set to jump to 50,000 km by 2020, with four main lines connecting north and south and another four east and west.
The growth of China’s domestic high¬speed network has kept pace with the country’s emergence as the second biggest economy in the world.