|A passenger of bullet train D2333 shows a ticket at Xiamen North Railway Station, in Xiamen, capital of southeast China's Fujian Province, Dec. 28, 2013. The Xiamen-Shenzhen High Speed Railway, a corridor on the southeast coast of China, officially opened to traffic on Saturday. (Xinhua/Lin Shanchuan)|
XIAMEN, Dec. 28 -- A rail line linking the most prosperous cities in south China, came into service on Saturday.
The Xiamen-Shenzhen Railway, over 513 km with 18 stops, connects the port city of Xiamen in east China's Fujian Province with Shantou and Shenzhen in the southern powerhouse of Guangdong.
The railway is designed to carry about 11,000 passengers each day at 200 km per hour.
The journey between Xiamen and Shenzhen previously took eight hours by coach. Travel time has now been slashed to around three and a half hours, according to Huang Xin, deputy chief engineer with Guangzhou Railway(Group) Corporation.0 Linked with existing railways, the line extends east to Shanghai and westward to Guangzhou, making travel easy between the Yangtze and Pearl River Deltas, China's most economically developed regions.
The line links a chain of Guangdong's booming cities with Xiamen on the western coast of the Taiwan Strait and a center of trade and cooperation with Taiwan.
Chen Xinzhong, chairman of Xiamen's Taiwanese Business Association, expects the new line will attract more Taiwanese businesses to invest in the Chinese mainland.
Other new railway lines to start operations on Saturday include Baoji-Xi'an in the northwestern province of Shaanxi, starting point of the Silk Road, and one connecting southwest China's Chongqing Municipality with neighboring Hubei Province.
A high-speed link between the scenic city of Guilin and Beijing also got going in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the bridgehead of China-ASEAN cooperation. Guangxi is the first ethnic minority autonomous region with high-speed rail.
By the end of the year, five other lines in the region will start operations to boost regional development and strengthen cooperation between inland areas and ASEAN countries, according to Zhang Qianli, chief of Nanning City's railway bureau.