China’s high-latitude high-speed rail ready for service

A high-speed rail line linking northeastern Chinese city of Harbin and port city of Dalian will start service on Dec. 1, according to the Ministry of Railways.

With a speed of 350 km per hour, the 921-kilometer railway is the world’s first long high-speed line running through high-latitude regions with extremely low temperatures during the winter season, according to the ministry.

It is expected to cut travelling times between the two cities to about four hours from nine hours.

The line will go through the country’s three northeastern provinces — Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning. There will be 23 stops along the route, including that at the renowned industrial base Shenyang city, according to the ministry.

Due to safety concerns in relation to the climate, railway authorities have decided to adopt two different schedules. The speed during the winter season (Dec. 1 to March 31) will be 200 km per hour, with the summer period (April 1 to Nov. 30) being 300 km per hour.

The ministry said ticket prices will also vary depending on the schedule.

Harbin West, the line’s originating station, has been designed with a combined passenger capacity of 7,000 passengers per hour at peak times.

Xinhua