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China bullet train makes speedy test trip

Dec. 23, 2012 at 10:24 AM

BEIJING, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- The world's longest high-speed rail line underwent a successful and speedy test run this weekend, Chinese officials said.

The test train sailed through the 693-kilometer (431-mile) run from Beijing to Zhengzhou in 2 1/2 hours, reaching an average speed of 300 kilometers per hour (186 mph).

The railway is 2,298 km (1,428 miles) overall and links the capital with the manufacturing center of Guangzhou.

The line opens Wednesday and will carry passengers between the cities in about 8 hours, compared to more than 20 for conventional trains.

Saturday's test trip included more than 100 journalists and railway officials as passengers. It was closely watched in China since a similar bullet train crash last year in southern China cost 40 lives, China's Xinhua news agency said.

"We will keep tracking the condition of equipment in real time and report potential risks immediately," Zhou Li, director general of science and technology for the Ministry of Railways told reporters.

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