From Confucius to modern metropolis: high-speed railway to boost tourism in east China

09:41, June 16, 2011      

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Attendants who are going to serve on trains running along the Beijing-Shanghai High-speed Railway straighten themselves up at the Hongqiao Railway Station in east China's Shanghai, June 15, 2011. The 1,318-kilometer high-speed rail line linking Beijing in the north and Shanghai in the south will go into commercial service at the end of this month, cutting the travel time between the twin economic engines to as short as four hours and forty-eight minutes. (Xinhua/Zheng Xianzhang)

If renowned Chinese philosopher and educator Confucius were to wake up and see a high-speed train passing through his hometown, it is conceivable that he might feel the urge to hop on and take a trip to Beijing or Shanghai. After all, it would take him less than a few hours to do so, courtesy of China's latest high-speed railway endeavor.

The 1,318-km Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway line, due to open at the end of this month, will allow travelers to visit three municipalities and four provinces in less than 5 hours, with top speeds of trains traveling up to 300 km per hour.

China's railway ministry announced Monday that a one-way high-speed rail ticket between Beijing and Shanghai will cost between 410 yuan (about 63 U.S. dollars) and 1,750 yuan.

The railway will not only shuttle tourists between Beijing and Shanghai, but will also bring travelers from the two booming cities to other places along the way, said Yu Chong, director of the Shandong Provincial Tourism Bureau.

"The high-speed railway will boost tourism in east China, specifically by increasing the number of weekend trips," said Zhang Weiguo, director of the Economic Research Institute at the Shandong Academy of Social Sciences.

With the new railway in service, tourists will be able to easily make round-trip journeys between Beijing and Shanghai on weekends, cutting down overall travel time and giving tourists more time to visit multiple locations, Zhang said.

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Source: Xinhua
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