Line linking Beijing, Shenyang to cut travel time nearly in half
The Liaoning section of the Beijing-Shenyang high-speed railway began its first trial run on Thursday morning, testing the line's power supply equipment, according to project officials.
The railway linking Beijing and Shenyang, Liaoning province, is about 700 kilometers long, and trains will run at speeds of up to 350 kilometers per hour. The line will cut travel time between Beijing and Shenyang from 4.5 hours to 2.5 hours.
The project, which costs 124.5 billion yuan (.4 billion), was launched in July 2014 as part of the Beijing-Harbin high-speed railway. It is considered a vital link connecting Beijing with Northeast China.
It is also the only part of China's high-speed rail network - comprising four north-south lines and four east-west lines - that remains unfinished.
Zhang Yuehan, senior engineer of the Shenyang railway bureau's planning and statistics department, said the line would smooth transportation between Beijing and Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning provinces.
"The Beijing-Shenyang line will become the fastest access to the northeastern region, as the entire northeastern railway network will be interconnected with the national high-speed railway network and thus form an efficient and convenient rapid transport network," Zhang said.
Wang Min, who works for an import-export company in Shenyang said, "With the new train, I can go to Beijing in the morning, visit clients and return home at night. It will save me both money and time."
Besides its economic benefits, the project has developed more than 70 types of new technologies and equipment to ensure high quality across the system, according to Wang Zhipeng, chief of Beijing-Shenyang HSR Liaoning Co.
For example, new track plates with sensors can provide real-time monitoring. Also, 500-meter-long rail sections will reduce maintenance and improve passenger comfort.
Tests of the Liaoning section are expected to be completed in the second half of this year. Workers need to inspect all systems, including rails, bridges, electrical systems and signals. The line's section in Hebei province will also be tested.