The China Railway Shanghai Group has announced that its new timetable shall come into force at midnight on 10th April, one which shall cut transportation time between Nanjing and Beijing to a fastest possible time of 3 hours and 16 minutes.
The present fastest service takes 3 hours 26 minutes to travel from southern to northern capital. Yet, there are only four such services each day, doing the 1,023 km journey in 206 minutes; the G2 and G14 that depart Nanjing South each morning, and the G4 and G18 afternoon services. While the new faster services shall still be operated by the latest line of sleek, high-speed trains for which China has become world renown, there shall be many more of them. After the April change, there will be 15 daily departures, journeying from Nanjing to Beijing in the record-breaking 3 hours 16 minutes.
The primary factor at work in shaving 10 minutes off the present, fastest service is a minor adjustment to the route, not only resulting in a slightly shorter kilometre journey, but also allowing for trains to spend more time at their maximum cruising velocity of 350 km/h.
Top speeds for China’s high-speed trains have recently been lifted from their limit of 300 km/h, that was imposed after the 2011 tragedy outside Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, when two high-speed trains collided on a viaduct in what was China’s first high-speed train disaster. 40 people were killed.
The move solidifies China’s latest generation of high-speed trains as the de-facto standard in world-class transportation. In line with Xi Jinping’s plans to rejuvenate the Chinese nation, the latest model is named just that; the Rejuvenation Series (复兴号). Their predecessor, the Harmony Series (和谐号), was named after the buzzword of Xi’s forerunner, Hu Jintao.
The new flagship services shall depart Shanghai Hongqiao to Beijing South, as if in a nod to their almighty significance, at the top of the hour, specifically 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 15:00, 17:00, 18:00 and 19:00.
Journey times between Shanghai and Nanjing shall also be slashed significantly in the coming years. Under construction at present is a new high-speed line between the two cities that will herald in an era in which it will be possible for Nanjingers to go to Shanghai for lunch, literally.