The high-speed rail link between Beijing and Shanghai will begin operations on June 30, the Ministry of Railways announced yesterday.
The 1,318-kilometre link between the mainland's political and economic centres will be completed in as little as four hours and 48 minutes - more than five hours less than the quickest trains now in service.
Two trains are scheduled to do the run at that speed - 300km/h - in each direction daily, stopping only at the new Nanjing South station. While other high-speed services will include other stops, just one daily service is scheduled to run at the slower - and cheaper - D-class rate, completing the journey in seven hours and 56 minutes. That is likely to prove controversial, as there has been a gathering backlash against the high-speed revolution due to the subsequent reduction in the number of trains running at cheaper rates.
Tickets - said to range from 410 yuan (HK$490) on the D-class to 1,750 yuan for the VIP lounge - will be sold through the ministry's website, 12306.cn, from today.