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Beijing-Shanghai high-speed line tested in festival travel rush

(Xinhua)

17:03, January 16, 2012

BEIJING, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- "My homebound journey is going to be a pleasant one this year," said Wu Shu, a Beijing office worker who secured a ticket via the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed line to travel home for the upcoming Spring Festival.

"It will take me only four hours to reunite with my family, compared with at least eight hours on other trains," said Wu, whose parents live in Nanjing, capital city of eastern Jiangsu province.

"The ticket is more expensive, but it's still worth it given the line's speed and comfort," Wu said. It cost him 455 yuan (72 U.S. dollars) -- one or two hundred yuan more than tickets for the slower trains.

For similar reasons, many people like Wu have chosen to ride home on the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed trains this year, putting the operator of the line, which opened only half a year ago, under great stress.

The 1,318-kilometer-long high-speed line runs through Tianjin municipality and Hebei, Shandong, Anhui and Jiangsu provinces. It is expected to partially ease the festival transport rush in the country's eastern regions.

A total of 235 million trips will be made via the country's railways during the festival travel rush this year, up 6.1 percent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Railways (MOR).

Beijing Railway Station has forecast that the year's festival transport will peak between Jan. 18 and 21, with the cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou as well as the province of Zhejiang expected to see the largest passenger flow.

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