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New high-speed railway spurs debate over prices


08:54, September 27, 2012

BEIJING, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- A faster way of travel but with higher cost, high-speed rail in China continues to divide opinion.

The unveiling of high ticket prices for a new high-speed line set to open on Friday is garnering a new slew of controversy as many plan trips during the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day holidays that run from Sept. 30 to Oct. 7.

Bullet trains on the Zhengzhou-Wuhan line, which also helps to connect several other major cities with existing lines in central and southern China, will run up to 300 km per hour and cut travel times by more than half. The downside is that prices for high-speed train tickets are about three times those for standard trains.

The high-speed train services are clearly better travel options for those who care little about the costs. Tickets around the busy travel season sold out soon after becoming available for booking.

A microblgger under the name of "tinybin" wrote on Sina Weibo, a popular Twitter-like service, that he often buy full-price air tickets during holidays, so he will consider the new, cheaper alternative.

The new line also offers a better option for people who don't like to spend a long time traveling or those who have a phobia of flying.

"It's very good news for people like me who fear air travel,"wrote a poster going by the name "Heibaipeipyf."

But for many low-income earners, particularly migrant workers, the high-speed train services are expensive.

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