China’s development in the realm of high-speed railway is later than those developed countries for 20 or 30 years. Since the extraordinary development of high-speed railway in the world in 21st century, China was aware of the importance and significance of developing high-speed railway. In 1990, China began designing the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway, and in the same year, the Ministry of Railways completed the Report of Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway Blueprint and submitted it to National People’s Congress. This was China’s first preparation for high-speed railway development.
In 1998, the electrization upgrading of Guangzhou-Shenzhen Railway was completed in advance and the design speed was 200 kilometers per hour. For testing the feasibility of speeding up Chinese railway to the designed standard, the local authorities rented an X2000 high-speed train from Sweden. The whole rail was installed with the internationally advanced equipments as well. Hence, the refinement of Guangzhou-Shenzhen railway is considered to be the beginning of China entering the period of high-speed railway. In June, 1998, a new-pattern electric locomotive was used in the test of Beijing-Guangzhou Railway and the speed was up to 240 kilometers per hour and broke the record of train speed in history. And this locomotive named Shaoshan-8 was considered as the first high-speed locomotive of China.
Beijing-Tianjin Inter-city Railway is another representative of early development of China high-speed railway. Compared to the ordinary train, the high-speed train or bullet train takes advantages of larger capacity, higher speed and better transport efficiency. Meanwhile, the main problem that China’s high-speed railway faces is the low speed, the deficiency of capacity and less modernization. So, the large-scale railway construction was highly emphasized. During the ninth Five-Year Scheme of China from 1996 to 2000, the speed of China railway was improved for three times. And The Ministry of Railways shaped the plan of speeding up the trains. In this plan, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou were selected as the centers to connect the railways of different cities, and the total length of the railway was up to 16, 000 kilometers. What’s more, the highest speed of the passenger bullet trains was over 200 kilometers per hour. This largely changed the traditional situation of China railway network. During this phase, the CRH，China Railway High-Speed, of DJJ2 with a speed of 270km/h was in the process of development. China’s first real high-speed railway was the Qinhuangdao-Shenyang special passenger line completed in 2002, which had a design speed of 200-250 kilometers per hour. By the way, the electric locomotive named Zhong Hua Zhi Xing(中华之星，Star of China) created the fastest speed in this railway with 321.5 kilometers per hour.
In January 2004, State Council of China approved China’s first Plan of Middle and Long-Term Railway Network and officially declared to build a special passenger transport railway network with a total mileage over 12, 000 kilometers, and the targeted speed of the train is and above 200 kilometers per hour. Besides, three large inter-city passenger transport networks，which were Around Bohai Region, Yangtze River Delta Region and Pearl River Delta Region, were also under the construction. Also, a large batch of high-speed railways was also under the construction like Wenzhou-Fuzhou High-Speed Rail, Hefei-Nanjing High-Speed Rail, Wuhan-Guangzhou Passenger Transport High-Speed Rail and Beijing-Tianjin Inter-city High-Speed Rail and so on.
In 2007, China railway experienced the sixth huge speed upgrade. China firstly in the main railways like Beijing-Harbin Railway, Beijing-Guangzhou Railway, Beijing-Shanghai Railway, Beijing-Jiulong Railway and Jiaoji Railway launched the large scale of speed upgrade, and the average speed was up to 200-250 kilometers per hour. These upgrades directly promoted China to reach the internationally advanced technology. In August, 2008, China initially designed a high-speed railway with 350 kilometers per hour---Beijing-Tianjin Inter-city Railway.
Currently, China’s high-speed railway network has been vividly shaped and many high-speed railways have played a key role in people’s life. Chinese people’s reliance to high-speed train becomes more and more obvious. The representatives of China’s high-speed railway are Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway, Shanghai-Hangzhou High-Speed Railway, Shanghai-Nanjing High-Speed Railway and Beijing-Tianjin Inter-city High-Speed Railway.
China's High-Speed Railway Network Map by 2020, and click the image above, a more specific and larger map of China HSR Network in Chinese will be available
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