Executive Intelligence Review


China To Open Its Longest High-Speed Rail Line This Summer

May 2, 2018 (EIRNS)—A 343-kilometer high-speed rail link between Harbin and Jiamusi in Heilongjiang province, in the cold northeastern region of China, will open in July-August 2018, which is the longest high-speed rail link in the world. According to Xinhua, temperatures in the region can reach -í35° Celsius in the winter which, along with the high altitude of the entire run, poses special challenges for construction of the line, as well as for running it for passengers and cargo.

Both passengers and cargo will be transported at a speed of 200 kph on this route. This is a relatively high speed for cargo. Today, China’s fastest cargo trains travel at 160 kph, having been put in service in 2014. France also runs freight trains at 160 kph, but most freight trains in both Europe and the United States travel at 100 kph (60 mph) or slower. The planned Moscow-Kazan line is expected to carry both passengers and freight at 350-400 kph.

From the standpoint of physical economy, high-speed rail is not appropriate for bulk cargo, such as grain or coal. But it does make sense for time-sensitive containerized cargo, including electronic and other industrial goods, and perishable foodstuffs.