Beijing-Shanghai railway begins in 2010

The long-awaited Beijing to Shanghai high-speed rail line will begin operating in 2010, state press reported, citing the Ministry of Railways. Construction of the passenger line will begin “soon” and be completed in five-years’ time, Xinhua news agency said.

The railway is expected to run at speeds of up to 350 kilometers an hour (217 miles an hour), cutting travel time between China’s two most important cities from around 13 hours to five hours, it said.

According to previous reports, the railway is expected to be the nation’s most expensive with a price tag of up to 200 billion yuan (25 billion dollars).