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Rediff.com  » Business » China starts bullet train service in most rugged terrain

China starts bullet train service in most rugged terrain

July 02, 2014 08:53 IST

Image: A high speed bullet train in China.
Photographs: David Gray/Reuters

China has launched bullet train services along a mountainous route touted as the most challenging high speed rail project that the country has ever built. 

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China starts bullet train service in most rugged terrain


Photographs: Reuters

The maiden train left Yichang City of central Hubei Province for Wanzhou District in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality on Tuesday, traveling a route that cuts through rugged mountains and under hundreds of bridges and tunnels.

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China starts bullet train service in most rugged terrain


Photographs: Reuters

Wang Tongliang, an official with the Wuhan Railway Bureau, said the service will cut journey time between Chongqing and Wuhan, capital of Hubei, from over 11 hours to just six hours and 40 minutes, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. 

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China starts bullet train service in most rugged terrain


Photographs: Shizhao /Wikimedia Commons

Travel time from other central or east China cities to southwest China will also be significantly shorter, bringing new opportunities for residents who live in the steep and remote mountains.

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China starts bullet train service in most rugged terrain


Photographs: Poeloq /Wikimedia Commons

The Yichang-Wanzhou Railway stretches across 377 kms. It is considered a feat of engineering as it runs through a rugged region where the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau meets the Yangtze River Plain, the report said.

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China starts bullet train service in most rugged terrain


Photographs: Jwjy9597 /Wikimedia Commons

The railway which started operation at the end of 2010 includes 159 tunnels and 253 bridges, accounting for about 74 percent of the line's total.

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China starts bullet train service in most rugged terrain


Photographs: Jwjy9597 /Wikimedia Commons

In the most extreme case, it took nearly six years to drill a tunnel through QiyueMountain due to complex and dangerous geological conditions.

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China starts bullet train service in most rugged terrain


Photographs: Wikimedia Commons

China has the world's longest high-speed rail network with 8,358 kms of routes and is still rapidly expanding.

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China starts bullet train service in most rugged terrain


Photographs: Reuters

In 2012, China opened the world's longest high-speed rail line, which runs 2,208 kms from capital Beijing in the north to Shenzhen on the southern coast. 

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