China to open world's longest high-speed rail line

China is set to open a 2,298-km high-speed railway line, the world's longest, in about two weeks, linking the capital city with the country's trading hub of Guangzhou, authorities announced today.

According to the Ministry of Railways (MOR), the Beijing-Guangzhou high-speed railway will open on December 26, the birth anniversary of late Chairman Mao Zedong.

China already operates a high-speed rail between Beijingand Shanghai covering about 1300 km in about five hours.

Running at an average speed of 300 km per hour, the railway will cut travel time between the country's capital and the southern economic centre of Guangzhou to about 8 hours.

Designed with a maximum speed of 350 km per hour, the railway has 35 stops in major cities, including Shijiazhuang, Zhengzhou, Wuhan and Changsha.

The high-speed line is expected to increase the cargo transport capacity between Beijing and Wuhan by 20 million tonnes, according to the Railway Ministry.

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