CHINA> Regional
China to open world's fastest intercity rail line
Updated: 2008-07-30 19:26

BEIJING - The Chinese Ministry of Railways (MOR) announced on Wednesday that the world's fastest intercity rail line linking Beijing with Olympic co-host Tianjin would be put into formal service on August 1, one week before the Games begin.

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The Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Railway would be the world's only rail line on which passenger trains could run at 350 km per hour, Vice Railway Minister Wang Zhiguo told a press conference.

The new service would cut the 120-km-journey from the current 70 minutes to about 30 minutes, according to Wang. There are five stations along the line: the cavernous new Beijing South Railway Station, Yizhuang, Yongle, Wuqing and Tianjin.

The intercity rail line will shuttle spectators, athletes, media people and other passengers between Beijing and Tianjin, which is to host 12 Olympic football matches from August 6-15.

The rail line has been under test operation since July 1, during which Chinese President Hu Jintao became one of the first passengers.

"The high-speed trains have been a milestone in the history of China's railway development," Hu said during his test ride on July 25.