IT'S full speed ahead for construction of the Shanghai-Nanjing express train line which kicked off yesterday and is scheduled to be in service before July 1, 2010. Shanghai Party Secretary formally opened proceedings at a ground-breaking ceremony yesterday in Nanjing, capital city of Jiangsu Province, reported by shanghaidaily.com.
The new express line is an important part of local authorities' plans to provide better mass transport facilities in the Yangtze River Delta region. In several years, the region will have a dual fast-transport network via express trains and state-of-the-art highways.
The fast train will mean travel between Shanghai and Nanjing will take just over an hour. "Now, the fastest express from Shanghai to Nanjing takes one hour and 58 minutes," said Tao Liping, a Shanghai Railway Administration official. The maximum speed on the 300-kilometer stretch is planned to be about 250kmh, cutting about 50 minutes off travel time.
Authorities have also promised the new train line will operate like transit buses, with a tight departure schedule, leaving the stations every three minutes. Some trains would skip smaller stations to improve overall efficiency on the line, said the planners.
The program is a joint venture between the Ministry of Railway and the Shanghai and Jiangsu governments, with a budget of 39.45 billion yuan (US$5.75 billion). The express line will take over the present Shanghai-Nanjing line to serve passengers. The old line will be mainly used for cargo transport.
In the city, the new line will stop at Anting and Nanxiang in Jiading District, Shanghai Railway Station and near Hongqiao Airport.
Other major cities on the line will include Suzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou and Zhenjiang, in Jiangsu. The province will host a total of 17 stations.