Information published on 15 January 2013 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 328.

China: the world’s longest high speed line starts through operation

  • Asia Pacific
  • High-Speed

The Beijing-Zhengzhou section of the Beijing-Guangzhou High Speed Railway (HSR hereafter) started operation on 26 December 2012. The section connects with the Zhengzhou-Wuhan and Wuhan-Guangzhou sections which are in service already, thus making the Beijing-Guangzhou HSR the longest operational HSR in the world.

The Beijing-Guangzhou HSR is one of the “four north-south corridors and four west-east corridors” specified in the Medium and Long-term Railway Network Plan. It starts from Beijing and extends southward to Guangzhou via Shijiazhuang, Zhengzhou, Wuhan and Changsha, with a total length of 2,298km, a design speed of 350km/h and an operational speed of 300km/h in the initial stage. The Beijing-Zhengzhou section is an important part of the Beijing-Guangzhou HSR, with an operational length of 693 km and passing through 14 stations including Beijing West, Zhuozhou East, Gaobeidian East, Baoding East, Dingzhou East, Zhengding Airport, Shijiazhuang, Gaoyi West, Xingtai East, Handan East, Anyang East, Hebi East, Xinxiang East and Zhengzhou East.

Following the opening, the Beijing-Guangzhou HSR now connects with existing HSRs in Beijing, Shijiazhuang, Zhengzhou, Wuhan and Guangzhou, i.e. Beijing-Tainjin Intercity HSR, Beijing-Qinhuangdao PDL, Qinhuangdao-Shenyang PDL, Harbin-Dalian HSR, Shijiazhuang-Taiuyan HSR, Zhengzhou-Xi’an HSR, Wuhan-Hefei-Nanjing HSR, Nanjing-Shanghai-Hangzhou HSR, Wuhan-Yichang HSR, Guangzhou-Shenzhen HSR, Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity HSR, Ningbo-Wenzhou-Fuzhou-Xiamen HSR. It can be said that the through operation of Beijing-Guangzhou HSR is a reflection of China’s high speed railway network beginning to take shape.

Based on regular travel patterns, three different operation schedules for the Beijing-Guangzhou HSR have been developed, namely daily, weekend and peak season, to meet the travelling needs at different times. The daily schedule covers Monday to Thursday while the weekend schedule covers Friday to Saturday. The peak season schedule includes the Spring Festival period, summer holidays, golden holiday weeks and other three-day holidays.

155 pairs of trains operating on Beijing-Guangzhou High Speed Line

155 pairs of EMUs operate on the Beijing-Guangzhou HSR, including 97 pairs dedicated to this line and 58 pairs operating on this line as well as other lines. Meanwhile, the railway authorities have accordingly adjusted the train operation schedules of the Shijiazhuang-Taiyuan HSR and Zhengzhou-Xi’an HSR, where EMUs running between Shijiazhuang and Taiyuan will increase from 11 to 18 pairs and those between Zhengzhou and Xi’an will increase from 18 to 28 pairs.

Following the opening of the Beijing-Guangzhou HSR, the railway authorities have arranged the transport capacity of the high speed line and the existing Beijing-Guangzhou railway line. 183 pairs of trains remain in operation on the existing line to offer more options for passengers. It is estimated preliminarily that 20 million tonnes of freight transport capacity will be increased between Fengtai West and Wuhan North each year.

The opening of the Beijing-Zhengzhou section and the through operation of the Beijing-Guangzhou HSR represent China’s significant progress in high speed railway construction. The railway plays an important role in reducing time-space distance among cities along the line, facilitating passenger travel, easing tension of transport capacity on the Beijing-Guangzhou railway line – in particular the pressure during the Spring Festival – strengthening exchanges between people, material resources and information between the East and the West, and promoting balanced social and economic development along the line. It will provide stronger support to transport capacity to build a better-off society in every way.

(Source: Ministry of Railways, China)