It's nearly a Christmas present to the country, as Chinese officials only just unwrapped their new toywhich sends passengers between the nation's capital and its third largest metropolisthis weekend. The journey, which previously lasted a grueling 22 hours, will now total 8 hours with the HSR. Just don't expect much scenery; the train's top speed of 350 km/hour or 217 miles/hour, should make the country go by in a blur.
There are ticket prices for all budgets, ranging from 865 CNY ($138 USD) for second-class (economy) to 1,383 CNY ($222 USD) for first class. The high-rollers will fork over 2,972 CNY ($476 USD) each way for the premium VIP level. These prices are on par with airfares between the cities, but it takes about half the time via air travel. The train, however, has the advantage of not requiring travel out to an airport as well.
All of this sounds like good news, but the great news is that with around two more years of hard work, this rail line will continue on to connect Hong Kong and Beijing.
[Photo: Jason D for Jaunted]