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Bullet trains to link south China metropolises

(Xinhua)

13:32, December 25, 2011

SHENZHEN, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- A new high-speed railway is scheduled to be launched between two major south China cities on Monday and it will be further extended to nearby Hong Kong, local railway authorities said Saturday.

The line will connect Guangzhou and Shenzhen, both in the province of Guangdong, a manufacturing belt adjacent to Hong Kong, shortening the travel time between the two cities to just 35 minutes, officials said.

A total of 36 pairs of China-made CRH3 bullet trains will serve the 102- kilometer-long high speed railway at a maximum speed of 300 kilometers per hour, they added. A one-way ticket will cost 100 yuan (15.87 U.S. dollars) for first-class seats and 75 yuan for second-class seats.

China's railway projects have been on a binge since the country rolled out a stimulus plan worth four trillion yuan to counter the financial crisis of 2008.

But the sector has been hit hard in the second half of 2011, after the government tightened liquidity control, and the deadly train collision eroded investor confidence and limited the ministry's ability to borrow money or sell bonds.

In 2012, the government is planning to cut spending in railway infrastructure construction to 400 billion from 469 billion yuan this year, railway minister Sheng Guangzu said this week.

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