WUHAN, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Wuhan-Guangzhou high-speed railway with the world's fastest train journey at a 350-km-per-hour designed speed, started operation Saturday.
Two passenger trains rolled out the Wuhan Railway Station and Guangzhou North Railway Station at about 9 a.m. and reached the terminals within three hours, compared with the previous 10 and a half hours.
The service between Wuhan, a metropolis in central China, and Guangzhou City, a business hub in the southern Guangdong Province, was put into trial operation on Dec. 9, reaching a maximum speed of 394.2 km per hour.
A 600-member delegation from Xianning City boarded the train at10 a.m. at Xianning North Station to promote tourism and attract investment in Guangzhou. Nearly two hours later, they had to take off winter coats on arrival of Guangzhou where the temperature was about 20 degrees Celsius at noon.
"We have long been waiting for the service to start," said Zheng Zengjin, manager of Yaochi Hotel of Xianning and a delegation member. "Previously, we had to suffer the tired and crowded journey as the train ride took more than 10 hours."
"It is really good news for us to have so comfortable and fast ride," he said. "As the travel becomes more frequent, we expect closer cooperation between the Pearl River delta and less developed regions such as Xianning."
In 2004, China hailed the completion of the rail line from Guangzhou to Shenzhen, both in Guangdong Province, with a speed of160 km per hour. Now the speed more than doubled within five years, said Xu Fangliang, general engineer in charge of designing the Wuhan-Guangzhou high-speed line.
The average speed of the high-speed railways is 243 km per hour in Japan, 232 km per hour in Germany and 277 km per hour in France, he said.