Tickets for the new Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway have been selling like hot cakes. The 1,318-kilometer railway officially started operating on July 1 this year with promises to whisk passengers between the two cities in a little under five hours.
The new high-speed train route significantly eases the transportation strain and improves business communications between Beijing and Shanghai. Previously a journey between the two metropolises always involved air travel.
The state-of-the-art bullet trains can travel up to 350 kilometers an hour and offer a new level of customer comfort. The seats resemble those of an aircraft but have a few additional features built in, such as the ability to change the seat direction if you wish to face traveling companions. Business class seats come equipped with flat screen TVs, laptop plugs and a tray table, and are able to recline completely.
Tickets cost between 410 to 1,750 yuan ($63 to $279) depending on the train speed and seat category. If the trains prove to be as efficient as Japan’s Shinkansen (bullet trains), then the Chinese airlines that have so far governed this route, should start worrying.