China Successfully Tests Longest High-Speed Rail Line

The Xinhua news agency reported the Dec. 22 test along a 415-mile stretch of the line's northern section went smoothly. The public can begin using the 1,378-mile railway Dec. 26.

China's Ministry of Railways successfully tested the world's longest high-speed railway on Dec. 22 with a train taking about two and half hours to travel the 415-mile northern section of the 1,378-mile Beijing-Guangzhou line, the Xinhua news agency reported. The train averaged 180 mph during the trip.

The new line connects China's capital with the country's southern economic hub and will shave what was a 20-hour trip to just eight hours, according to Xinhua's report.

The report quoted Zhou Li, director general of science and technology with the ministry, who was aboard, as telling journalists and passengers he is confident the country's rail technologies are safe. "We will keep tracking the condition of equipment in real time and report potential risks immediately," he said, adding that increased maintenance and control system improvements have addressed safety concerns raised after a Chinese bullet train crashed last year, killing 40 people.

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