China tests high-speed rail line

Oct. 8, 2012 at 3:36 PM
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HARBIN, China, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- China says it completed a test run of the world's first alpine high-speed rail line running through the country's three northeastern provinces.

A test train departed from the capital of Heilongjiang Province Monday morning for Dalian, a port city in Liaoning Province, making the 570-mile journey in about four hours at an average speed of 186 mph, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Trains will be able to run at an average of 217 mph after safety tests are conducted, engineers said.

The heavily-populated northeastern provinces are China's key industrial base. The high-speed rail line is intended to ease the transportation bottleneck in the region.

The line's originating station in Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang province, has 10 platforms and can handle 7,000 passengers per hour in peak periods, Xinhua reported.

The rail line, which will have 24 stations, is expected to begin full operations by the end of the year.

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