Beijing–Shanghai high-speed railway
The Beijing–Shanghai high-speed railway (or Jinghu high-speed railway, from its name in Mandarin) is a high-speed railway 1,318 kilometres (819 mi) long that connects two major economic zones in the People's Republic of China: the Bohai Economic Rim and the Yangtze River Delta. Construction began on April 18, 2008, with the line opened to the public for commercial service on June 30, 2011. It is the world's longest high-speed line ever constructed in a single phase. The line is one of the busiest high speed railways in the world, transporting over 180 million passengers in 2017, more than the annual ridership of the entire TGV or Intercity-Express network. It is also China's most profitable high speed rail line, reporting a 6.6 billion yuan net operational profit in 2015.
|Beijing–Shanghai high-speed railway|
|Locale||Beijing, Hebei, Tianjin, Shandong, Jiangsu, Anhui, Shanghai|
|Ridership||180 million per year (2017)|
|Opened||June 30, 2011|
|Operator(s)||China Railway High-speed|
|Rolling stock||CRH380A CRH380AL CRH380B CRH380BL CRH380CL CRH380D CR400AF CR400BF|
|Line length||1,318 km (819 mi)|
1,302 km (809 mi) (main line)
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
|Minimum radius||mostly 7,000 meters, or|
400 meters near Beijing South
|Operating speed||350 km/h (217 mph)|
|Jinghu high-speed railway|
Under former Minister of Railways Liu Zhijun, the railway line was the first one designed for a maximum speed of 380 km/h in commercial operations. The non-stop train from Beijing South to Shanghai Hongqiao was expected to finish the 1,305-kilometre (811 mi) journey in 3 hours and 58 minutes, averaging 329 kilometres per hour (204 mph), making it the fastest scheduled train in the world, compared to 9 hours and 49 minutes on the fastest trains running on the parallel conventional railway. But following Liu Zhijun's dismissal in February 2011, several major changes were announced. First, trains would be slowed to a maximum speed of 300 km/h (186 mph), reducing operating costs. At this speed, the fastest trains would take 4 hours and 48 minutes to travel from Beijing South to Shanghai Hongqiao, making one stop at Nanjing South. Additionally, a slower class of trains running at 250 km/h (155 mph) would be operated, making more stops and charging lower fares. On September 21, 2017, 350 km/h operation was restored with the introduction of China Standardized EMU. This reduced travel times between Beijing and Shanghai to about 4 hours 18 minutes on the fastest scheduled trains, attaining an average speed of 291.9 km/h (181.4 mph) over a journey of 1,302 km (809 mi) making those services the fastest in the world.
The Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway Co., Ltd. was in charge of construction. The project was expected to cost 220 billion yuan (about $32 billion). An estimated 220,000 passengers are expected to use the trains each day, which is double the current capacity. During peak hours, trains should run every five minutes. 1,140 km, or 87% of the railway is elevated. There are 244 bridges along the line. The 164-km long Danyang–Kunshan Grand Bridge is the longest bridge in the world, the 114-km long viaduct bridge between Langfang and Qingxian is the second longest in the world, and the Cangde Grand Bridge between Beijing's 4th Ring Road and Langfang is the fifth longest. The line also includes 22 tunnels, totaling 16.1 km (10.0 mi). A total of 1,268 km (788 mi)of the length is ballastless.
According to Zhang Shuguang, then deputy chief designer of China's high-speed railway network, the designed continuous operating speed is 350 km/h (217 mph), with a maximum speed of up to 380 km/h (236 mph). The average commercial speed from Beijing to Shanghai was planned to be 330 km/h (205 mph), which would have cut the train travel time from 10 hours to 4 hours. The rolling stock used on this line consists mainly of CRH380 trains. The CTCS-3 based train control system is used on the line, to allow for a maximum speed of 380 km/h of running and a minimum train interval of 3 minutes. With power consumption of 20 MW and capacity of about 1,050 passengers, the energy consumption per passenger from Beijing to Shanghai should be less than 80kWh.
China's two most important cities, Beijing and Shanghai, were not linked by rail until 1912, when the Jinpu railway was completed between Tianjin and Pukou. With the existing railway between Beijing and Tianjin, which was completed in 1900, the Huning railway between Nanjing and Shanghai opened in 1908, interrupted by a ferry between Pukou and Nanjing across the Yangtze River. A weekly Beijing–Shanghai direct train was first introduced in 1913.
In 1933 a train ride from Beijing to Shanghai took around 44 hours, at an average speed of 33 km/h. Passengers had to get off in Pukou with their luggage, board a ferry named "Kuaijie" across the Yangtze, and get on another connecting train in Xiaguan on the other side of the river.
In 1933 the Nanjing Train Ferry was opened for service. The new train ferry, "Changjiang" (Yangtze), built by a British company, was 113.3 meters long, 17.86 meters wide, was able to carry 21 freight cars or 12 passenger cars. Passengers could remain on the train when crossing the river, and the travel time was thus cut to around 36 hours. The train service was suspended during the Japanese invasion.
In 1949 from Shanghai's North railway station toward Beijing (then Beiping) it took 36 hours, 50 minutes, at an average speed of 40 km/h. In 1956 the trip time was cut to 28 hours, 17 minutes. In the early 1960s the travel time was further cut to 23 hours, 39 minutes.
In October 1968, the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge was opened. The travel time was cut to 21 hours, 34 minutes. As new diesel locomotives were introduced in the 1970s, the speed was increased further. In 1986, the travel time was 16 hours, 59 minutes.
China introduced six line schedule reductions from 1997 to 2007. In October 2001, train T13/T14 took about 14 hours from Beijing to Shanghai. On April 18, 2004, Z-series trains were introduced. The trip time was cut to 11 hours, 58 minutes. There were five trains departing around 7 pm every day, each 7 minutes apart, arriving at their destination the next morning.
The railway was completely electrified in 2006. On April 18, 2007, the new CRH bullet train was introduced on the upgraded railway as part of the Sixth Railway Speed-Up Campaign. A day-time train D31 served the route, departing from Beijing at 10:50 every morning, and arriving at Shanghai at 20:49 in the evening, travelling mostly at 160–200 km/h (up to 250 km/h in a very short section between Anting and Shanghai West). In 2008 overnight sleeper CRH trains were introduced, replacing the locomotive-hauled Z sleeper trains. With a new high-speed intercity line opening between Nanjing and Shanghai in the summer of 2010, the sleeper trains made use of the high-speed line in the Shanghai–Nanjing section, travelling at 250 km/h for a longer distance. The fastest sleeper trains took 9 hours, 49 minutes, with four intermediate stops, at an average speed of 149 km/h.
As the Nanjing Yangtze Bridge connected the two sections of the railway into a continuous line, the entire railway between Beijing and Shanghai was renamed the Jinghu Railway, with Jing (京) being the standard Chinese abbreviation for Beijing, and Hu (沪), short for Shanghai. The Jinghu Railway has served as China's busiest railway for nearly a century. Due to rapid growth in passenger and freight traffic in the last 20 years, this line has reached and surpassed capacity.
Dedicated high-speed rail proposal
The Jinghu high-speed railway was proposed in the early 1990s, because one quarter of the country's population lived along the existing Beijing-Shanghai rail line In December 1990, the Ministry of Railways submitted to the National People's Congress a proposal to build the Beijing–Shanghai high speed railway parallel to the existing Beijing–Shanghai railway line. In 1995, Premier Li Peng announced that work on the Beijing–Shanghai high-speed railway would begin in the 9th Five Year Plan (1996–2000). The Ministry's initial design for the high-speed rail line was completed, and a report was submitted for state approval in June 1998. The construction plan was set in 2004, after a five-year debate on whether to use steel-on-steel rail track, or maglev technology. Maglev was not chosen due to its incompatibility with China's existing rail-and-track technology and its high price, which is two times higher than that of conventional rail technology.
Although engineers originally said construction could take until 2015, the China's Ministry of Railways initially promised a 2010 opening date for the new line. However, the Ministry did not anticipate an ensuing debate over the possible use of maglev technology. Although more traditional steel-on-steel rail technology was chosen for the railway, the technology debate resulted in a substantial delay of the railway's feasibility studies, completed in March 2006. The current rolling stock is the CRH380AL, which is a Chinese electric high-speed train that was developed by China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Corporation Limited (CSR). CRH380A is one of the four Chinese train series which have been designed for the new standard operating speed of 380 km/h (236 mph) on newly constructed Chinese high-speed main lines. The other three are CRH380B, CRH380C and CRH380D.
Testing began shortly thereafter on the main line section between Shanghai and Nanjing. This section of the line sits on the soft soil of the Yangtze Delta, providing engineers an example of the more difficult challenges they would face in later construction. In addition to these challenges, high speed trains use extensive amounts of aluminium alloy, with specially designed windscreen glass capable of withstanding avian impacts.
Construction work began on April 18, 2008. Track-laying was started on July 19, 2010, and completed on November 15, 2010. On December 3, 2010, a 16-car CRH380AL trainset set a speed record of 486.1 km/h (302.0 mph) on the Zaozhuang West to Bengbu section of the line during a test run. On January 10, 2011, another 16-car modified CRH380BL train set a speed record of 487.3 km/h (302.8 mph) during a test run. The overhead catenary work was completed on February 4, 2011 for the entire line. According to CCTV, more than 130,000 construction workers and engineers were at work at the peak of the construction phase.
According to the Ministry of Railways, construction has used twice as much concrete as the Three Gorges dam, and 120 times the amount of steel in the Beijing National Stadium. There are 244 bridges and 22 tunnels built to standardized designs, and the route is monitored by 321 seismic, 167 windspeed and 50 rainfall sensors.
Start of service
Tickets were put on sale at 09:00 on June 24, 2011, and sold out within an hour. To compete with the new train service, airlines slashed the cost of flights between Beijing and Shanghai by up to 65%. Economy air fares between Beijing and Shanghai fell by 52%.
Sleeper bullet trains on the upgraded railway were cancelled at the beginning, but later resumed. The new line will increase the freight capacity of the old line by 50 million tons per year between Beijing and Shanghai.
In its second week in service, the system experienced three malfunctions in four days. On July 10, 2011, trains were delayed after heavy winds and a thunderstorm caused power supply problems in Shandong. On July 12, 2011, trains were delayed again when another power failure occurred in Suzhou. On July 13, 2011, a transformer malfunction in Changzhou forced a train to half its top speed, forcing passengers to take a backup train. Within two weeks after opening, airline prices had rebounded due to frequent malfunctions on the line. Airline ticket sales were only down 5% in July 2011 compared to June 2011, after the opening of the line. On August 12, 2011, after several delays caused by equipment problems, 54 CRH380BL trains running on this line were recalled by their manufacturer. They returned to regular service on November 16, 2011. A spokesman for the Ministry of Railways apologized for the glitches and delays, stating that in the two weeks since service had begun only 85.6% of trains had arrived on time.
In 2006, it was estimated that the line would cost between CN¥130 billion (US$16.25 billion) and ¥170 billion ($21.25 billion). The following year, the estimated cost had revised to ¥200 billion ($25 billion), or ¥150 million per kilometer. Due to rapid rises in the costs of labor, construction materials and land acquisitions over the previous years, by July 2008, the estimated cost was increased to ¥220 billion ($32 billion). By then, the state-owned company Beijing–Shanghai high-speed railway, established to raise funds for the project, had raised ¥110 billion, with the remaining to be sourced from local governments, share offerings, bank loans and, for the first time for a railway project, foreign investment. In the end, investment in the project totaled ¥217.6 billion ($34.7 billion).
In 2016 it was revealed, that last year the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway Company has total assets of ¥181.54 billion ($28 billion), revenue ¥23.42 billion ($3.6 billion) and a net profit ¥6.58 billion (US$1 billion), thus being labeled as the most profitable railway line in the world. In 2019, Jinghu Express Railway Company submitted an application for an IPO. The company announced that the Jinghu HSR recorded a net profit of ¥9.5 billion (US$1.35 billion) in the first nine months of 2019.
350km/h services utilize the CR400AF, CR400BF, CRH380A, CRH380B, and CRH380C trainsets, prior to 2014 slower 250 km/h services use CRH2 and CRH5 trainsets. First and Second Class coaches are available on all trains. On the shorter trains, a six-person Premier Class compartment is available. Available on the longer trains are up to 28 Business Class seats and a full-length dining car.
Operation and ridership
More than 90 trains a day run between Beijing South and Shanghai Hongqiao from 07:00 to until 18:00.
The line's average daily ridership in its initial two weeks of operation was 165,000 passengers daily, while 80,000 passengers every day continued to ride on the slower and less expensive old railway. The figure of 165,000 daily riders is three-quarters of the forecast of 220,000 daily riders. Since opening the passengers numbers continued to grow, with 230,000 passengers using the line each day by 2013. By March 2013, the line had carried 100 million passengers. By 2015, daily ridership grew to 489,000 passengers per day. By 2017, average daily ridership reached over 500,000 passengers per day.
This line is gradually gaining popularity through the years and it is reaching its capacity at weekends and holidays. With the introduction of the China Standardized EMU, the highest operation speed of the line is raised to 350 km/h on September 21, 2017. The fastest train will complete the journey in 4 hours 18 minutes (G7), while making two stops along the trip at Jinan and Nanjing.
On June 13, 2011, the list of fares was announced at a Ministry of Railways press conference. The fares from Beijing South to Shanghai Hongqiao in RMB Yuan are listed below:
|Speed||2nd-class seat||1st-class seat||VIP Seat (Sightseeing Seat)||Quickest Journey Time||Daily services|
Note: *Only available on services using the CRH380AL, CRH380BL and CRH380CL trains
With tickets priced at ¥1750 one way in the sightseeing compartment at the ends of the trains, passengers can sit behind the driver . Tickets at the same price all feature seats which recline in full. Holders of these tickets are additionally given free lounge access at major stations, are served a free meal onboard close to meal times, and are given unlimited refills of non-alcoholic drinks while on board.
Online ticketing service
The online ticket service opened when brick and mortar ticket service started. Passengers can buy tickets on the internet and pay the fare by debit or credit card. If the passenger uses a 2nd-generation PRC ID Card and does not want any documents printed, they can use their ID card directly as the ticket to pass the AFC, otherwise the passenger must change to a paper ticket prior to travel. Since late 2011, it has also been possible for users of these ID cards to print a ticket with the remark "Ticket Checked" after the end of the trip for reimbursement purposes.
|HSR Corridor of East China||350||1433||2008-01-08||2012-10-16|
(Beijing–Shanghai high-speed railway)
|HSR from Beijing to Shanghai via Tianjin, Jinan, Xuzhou, Bengbu and Nanjing||350||1302||2008-04-18||2011-06-30|
(Hefei–Bengbu high-speed railway)
|Spur off Jinghu HSR from Bengbu to Hefei||350||131||2008-01-08||2012-10-16|
Stations and service
There are 24 stations on the line. Cruise speeds are 300 and 350 km/h depending on services. Fare are calculated based on distance traveled regardless of speed and travel time. More than 40 pairs of daily scheduled train services travel end-to-end along this route, and hundreds more that only use a segment of it.
* – Lines in italic text are under construction or planned
The travel time column in the following table only list shortest time possible to get to a certain station from Beijing. Different services make different stops along the way and there is no services that stop at every station.
The railway line has some of the longest bridges in the world. They include:
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