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Train sets world record in speed

Reaching a speed of 416.6 km per hour, a new high-speed train linking Shanghai and Hangzhou set a fresh world record of train speed during its trial operation on Tuesday morning.
At an average speed of 350 km per hour, the high-speed train is expected to cut in half the existing travel time to 40 minutes to cover the 202-km journey between the two cities.
The train connecting Shanghai and Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang province, is expected to start official operation in late October, according to State broadcaster China Central Television.
'The new record of 416.6 km per hour shows that China has achieved a new milestone in high-speed train technologies,' Zhang Shuguang, deputy chief engineer of the Ministry of Railways, was quoted as saying.
Liu Yulei, a China National Radio reporter who experienced the trial run, said she felt like she was flying when the train reached its peak speed.
Currently, China has 7,000-km of high-speed railway lines, the most of its kind in the world.
However, despite its speed dwarfing that of any other train in China, the high-speed train linking Shanghai and Hangzhou is not that appealing to passengers due to possible expensive tickets and the long journey time for non-direct trains.
A first-class ticket is estimated to cost more than 100 yuan ($14.90), which doubles the existing fare, local Shanghai media Jiefang Daily has reported.
'I'd rather drive to Hangzhou,' said Zhong Cheng, a salesman who travels twice a week between Shanghai and Hangzhou.
Zhong said driving to Hangzhou takes about two hours, but traveling by high-speed train could be more expensive and takes a longer time if the train stops at every stop on the route.
Nine stations are along the route, seven of which are newly constructed in suburban districts of Shanghai and some cities of Zhejiang.
A number of non-direct high-speed trains running between Shanghai and Hangzhou may stop at these stations, with the goal of furthering economic development in these areas, China Securities Journal reported on Tuesday.
A clerk with Shanghai Railway Bureau who would not be named said as the trial operation for the Shanghai-Hangzhou line is for technical research, the ticket price and detailed operation timetable cannot be released yet.
He also said further details about the train will be released one week before the official operation starts.
In response to potential house buyers' concern that the high-speed train will push up housing price in towns and cities along the route, market observers said the worries are unnecessary.
Unlike metro lines, train routes have limited impact on real estate in the short term, said Lu Qilin, director of the Shanghai-based Uwin Real Estate Research Center.
Considering the ticket price of high-speed trains, most of the frequent passengers will be those on business trips rather than commuters between work and home, Lu said.
Source: China Daily
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