China added 4000km of new Bullet train tracks to its fast-growing rail network this year. New lines are making travel easier around China, opening destinations ones difficult to reach.
Prices are reasonable too and departures are in higher chance to be on-time, unlike flights.
The new Fuxing trains are expected to start operating as well in 2019, riding some of the main lines at 350 km/h and making journeys even faster.
Xi’an – Chengdu
Opened early this year, the Xi’an North – Chengdu East line reduced travel time between the cities to 3.5 hours (from 16). This beautiful route goes through Qinling mountains at a speed of 250 km/h.
The same line continues to Beijing and makes the journey an 8 hours’ long. For comparison, a flight from Beijing to Chengdu will take you 3.5 hours, without check in time and commute; Xi’an-Chengdu flight is of about 2 hours’ long.
Read More: Train Stories #2 – Beijing to Xi’an
Shanghai – Hangzhou – Huangshan (Yellow mountain)
Probably the most exciting new line to open this year, the Shanghai Hongqiao – Hangzhou East – Huangshan North line will cut travel times from 6 hours (by car) to 2.5 hours. There are more than 30 new trains leaving at relatively convenient hours and prices are reasonable too.
Guangzhou – Shenzhen – Hong Kong
This line continues to other mainland cities like Beijing (9 hours), Shanghai (8 hours) and even Suzhou (8.5 hours), but number of trains to these destinations is still limited.
Kowloon West station is the terminal in Hong Kong where immigration and passport cheks are, as well.
Read More: Hong Kong Travel Plan
Xiamen – Guangzhou
This new line from Xiamen station to Guangzhou east station is cutting travel time to only 4 hours and 40 minutes. This new line also connects other destinations betweeb the two provinces, making it easier to travel to Wuyishan, for example, and other scenic spots.
Looking for more off-beaten-path options?
Other new lines will connect Beijing with Hebei and Liaoning provinces, making the north east of China better connected for travel (including Tianjin).
Hebei, Shanxi (Xi’an) and Shandong (Qingdao) are now connected with more operating lines, opening these areas for enthusiast explorers as well.
Fujian province opened 2 circular routes from Xiamen and Fuzhou south stations, to ease travel around the province, also connecting some beautiful scenic spots along the way.
More to come
China approved plans for the first underwater bullet train and works should start in 2019. The “Eight vertical and eight horizontal” high-speed rail network plan will see the opening of more lines in next year, connecting more destinations, even in remote areas, throughout China.
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