An attendant serves a passenger on a high-speed train at Hohhot East Train Station in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region on Thursday morning. (WU YUNSHENG/CHINA DAILY)
The first high-speed railway in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region was opened on Thursday.
According to China Railway Corp, the national railway operator, the new line has reduced the fastest rail journey between Ulanqab and Hohhot, the capital, from 56 minutes to 39 minutes. The cheapest ticket costs 44 yuan (.7).
The bullet train runs at 250 kilometers per hour. Ten bullet train services are scheduled daily.
The new 126-km line will be part of a 286.8-km high-speed railway that will connect Hohhot with Zhangjiakou, co-host of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, in Hebei province.
The finished railway, with a designed speed of 250 km/h, will be a major artery in North China upon its completion.
It is expected to be finished and put into service next year. At that time, the Zhangjiakou-Hohhot high-speed rail will be connected to the Beijing-Zhangjiakou railway, which is currently under construction. Travel time from Hohhot to Beijing will be reduced from an average nine hours to less than three hours.
Last year, China's high-speed network reached 22,000 km, accounting for 65 percent of the world's total high-speed rail.
According to a plan released by the National Development and Reform Commission in July last year, China will expand high-speed rail to 30,000 km by 2020, linking 80 percent of its major cities. By 2030, the network is planned to link all cities with populations of more than 500,000.