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Track-laying Completed for High-speed Beijing-Tianjin Line

Workers completed laying the tracks for intercity high-speed railway between Beijing and Tianjin on Sunday morning, the first of its kind in China.

The 200-km rail, starts from the Beijing South Railway Station in the downtown area and ends at Tianjin Railway Station, passing through the districts of Yizhuang Industrial Park, Yongle New Town and and Tianjin's Yangcun, said a spokesman of the railway project.

Designed for a full speed of 350 kilometers per hour, the railway will shorten the journey between the two cities from the current 70 minutes to around 30 minutes.

A maximum of 20 pairs of trains will run on the new rail route per hour. Starting at an interval of 3 minutes, the trains are expected to carry up to 18,000 passengers per hour.

At a cost of more than 13.3 billion yuan (about US$1.8 billion), the project started in July 4, 2005 and will be operational before the Beijing Olympic Games in next August.

According to the blueprint of the Ministry of Railway, intercity high-speed railway network will be set up in the economic developed areas, including the Yangtze River Delta, the Bohai Sea Ring area and the Pearl River Delta, by 2020.

(Xinhua News Agency December 17, 2007)

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