A new high-speed railway will be built soon between Shanghai and Nanjing, Jiangsu province, linking up more cities in the Yangtze River Delta and shortening travel time in one of China’s economic powerhouses, according to a recently released official document.
The railway project’s preparatory team said in a notice that it has entrusted two companies to conduct an environmental assessment of the new railway.
The notice said the new 274-km line will link Nanjing and Taicang, where the new line will join another railway under construction to reach Shanghai.
The railway is designed with a maximum speed of 350 kilometers per hour, based on which observers estimated that the new line could further shorten travel time between Shanghai and Nanjing to less than one hour.
The existing passenger railway between Shanghai and Nanjing－one of the busiest railways in the country－was built with a designed top speed of 300 km/h. The fastest train service between the two cities takes one hour and seven minutes.
According to the notice, the new line will link up cities in the southern part of Jiangsu province, such as Zhangjiagang and Taicang, which are not connected by any high-speed railways.
Wen Qingze, deputy director of Zhangjiagang Transport Bureau, said that the new high-speed railway will make a valuable contribution to environmental improvement and bring talent to Zhangjiagang.
“With the completion of the railway, more people may come to our city to travel, work or live. Moreover, citizens may choose the train instead of buses or private cars for traveling, which will help reduce air pollution caused by vehicle emissions,” Wen said.
He added that Zhangjiagang would spare no effort to coordinate with relevant departments on the construction project, such as for route selection, resettlement and safety control.
Previous media reports said research into the project has been ongoing for about seven years.
News of the construction has already caused some sensation among residents in Jiangsu and Shanghai.
Enthusiastic travelers posted plans about how to taste the best food in Jiangsu cities in one day and the best one-day trip from Shanghai to Jiangsu.
Wang Lichun, a postgraduate student at Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, said the new railway might make long-distance relationships much more convenient.
“It’s good news for students like me,” Wang said. “My girlfriend is studying in Changshu. It takes me up to four hours to get there by intercity bus from Nanjing, which is really tiring. However, with a direct line to her, our relationship would be so much better.”