Start scanning the menus of your favourite eateries in Shanghai, for before long it will be quite possible to literally go for lunch in the big smoke, after the opening of a second high speed rail line between Shanghai and Nanjing with a journey time of just 1 hour.
The Shanghai Railway Bureau announced this week that construction of the new line shall begin by year end, with completion expected in 2022. The main aim of the project is to link up cities in the Yangtze River Delta not presently served by high speed train, thus bringing them the same economic benefits experienced by places such as Danyang and Zhenjiang on the existing route.
Principal stops on the new line, from east to west, shall be Taicang, Changshu, Zhangjiagang, Jiangyin, Wujin, Jintan and Jurong.
Unlike the existing high speed trains, which saw their maximum velocity curtailed to 300 km/h after the tragic accident in Wenchuan in 2011, the new line shall permit speeds of 350 km/h, cutting journey time between Shanghai and Nanjing to 1 hour. The fastest train at present takes 73 minutes.
Further into the future, a spur to the new route shall be added from Zhangjiagang to Nantong and onto Yancheng in northeast Jiangsu. In Shanghai, it is intended to extend the route to Shanghai East Railway Station that shall be located not far from Pudong International Airport.