The 1320-kilometre Beijing-Shanghai high speed rail link was first proposed in 1994. The completion of the 23 billion-Euro line was marked by an inauguration ceremony on 1 July. The link is expected to carry 80 million passengers a year. 90 trains will operate daily in both directions, with the fastest journey time taking 4 hours 48 minutes. In order to increase safety, reduce ticket prices and extend rolling stock life, the trains must run slower than previously announced – no faster than 300 km/h – on the new link, even though they are designed for a maximum speed of 350 km/h. China’s high speed rail network, which spanned 8,358 kilometres at the end of 2010, is expected to exceed 13,000 kilometres by 2012 and to reach 16,000 kilometres by 2020.