High Speed Railway Exchanges Speed For Price

BY :Jessie Huang

UPDATED :June 22, 2011


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A CRH380A train runs on the Wuhan - Guangzhou High Speed Railway. (Xinhua)

The ticket price and speed of Wuhan – Guangzhou High Speed Railway will be lowered as of July 1, according to a railway authority announcement.

Initial openings of the rails met criticism by some who complained that the lowered frequency of slower cheaper trains, due to the high speed market share, would affect low income families and workers.

It is believed that the new policy would make the railway more affordable for regular passengers. Especially in regards to new medium speed trains which cost RMB 80 more than traditional trains, but save at least 4 hours per trip. This should allow the high speed railway to be more competitive.

The world' s fastest commercial railway will slow its highest speed train from 350 km/h to 300 km/h. The policy will add an even slower service at 250 km/h.

The higher speed trains, recognized by the initial "G" on their tickets, cost RMB 740 from Wuhan to Guangzhou for first class, and RMB 465 for second class. The trip takes 3 hours 33 minutes, which is 17 minutes longer than before. And the cost from Changsha to Guangzhou is RMB 305/315 for first and second class respectively.

The lower speed train with the initial "D" charges RMB 530 for first class from Wuhan to Guangzhou, and RMB 330 for second class. It takes 6 hours 6 minutes and costs RMB 180/110 from Changsha to Guangzhou. Premium class and twin-seat class will also be offered on this train, which stops at all 13 stations along the way.

There are two different railway timetables for weekdays and weekends, in which more trains run from Fridays to Sundays and on holidays. The service time for both timetables is 7:00 – 21:00. The average interval is 15 minutes, the same as before.

(By Lynus Tan and Stephen Roberts)