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Wuhan–Guangzhou High-Speed Railway
Type High-speed rail
Status Operating
Locale Wuhan (Hubei) to Guangzhou (Guangdong),
People's Republic of China
Termini Wuhan
Guangzhou South
Stations 18
Train number(s) G1xxx (cross bureau)
G6xxx (within one bureau)
Opened December 26, 2009
Rolling stock CRH2C and CRH3C
Line length 968 kilometres (601 mi) (main line)
Track gauge 1435 mm Standard gauge
Minimum radius of curvature 7000 m[1]

The Wuhan–Guangzhou High-Speed Railway, also known as the Wuguang Passenger Railway (simplified Chinese: 武广客运专线traditional Chinese: 武廣客運專線pinyin: Wǔguǎng Kèyùn Zhuānxiàn), is a 968-kilometre (601 mi)[2] high-speed rail line, operated by China Railway High-speed (CRH), connecting Wuhan (Hubei) and Guangzhou (Guangdong), in the People's Republic of China. It is the world's fastest train service,[3] using coupled CRH2C and CRH3C trains which average 313 kilometres per hour (194 mph) in non-stop commercial service.

The line is part of the future 2100-km long Beijing-Guangzhou High-Speed Railway, while the Beijing-Shijiazhuang and Shijiazhuang-Wuhan sections are still under construction and expected to be opened in 2012.



The trains have a maximum in-service speed of 350 km/h (217 mph).[4] Each train consists of two eight-car electric multiple units coupled together to make a 16-car train. The passenger capacity of the train is about 1114 (CRH3C×2) or 1220 (CRH2C×2). The trains are based on technology developed by Siemens (CRH3) and Kawasaki (CRH2) modified to the standards of China Railway High-speed. The trains used on the line are manufactured in China.[3][5]

Commercial service

The first commercial trains left Wuhan and Guangzhou North at 9:00 am on December 26, 2009, and reached their destinations in three hours, compared with ten and a half hours for the previous service.[5][6]

From December 28, 2009,[note 1] until Guangzhou South Station was opened on 30 January 2010, 28 passenger train services run on the line daily each way. Of these 28 trains, two run between Wuhan and Changsha South, five run between Changsha South and Guangzhou North, and 21 run between Wuhan and Guangzhou North.

Two of the 21 trains are nonstop, covering the 922-km long journey in a scheduled 02h57m (Southbound) or 02h58m (Northbound).[note 2] This is an average speed of 313 kilometres per hour (194 mph) between stations. Before this line was opened, the fastest commercial train service between stations was the train run between Lorraine TGV and Champagne TGV in France, averaging 279 kilometres per hour (173 mph).[7]

Guangzhou South Railway Station was opened on 30 January 2010, just before the Chinese New Year. Trains arrive at or depart from Guangzhou South instead of Guangzhou North since then. During the first 56 days in 2010, the railway transported 1.108 million people, or 43 thousand per day. The total ticket income was about ¥700 million, exceeding earlier predictions.[8]


Construction work began on June 23, 2005. The line cost approximately CN¥116.6 billion.[9] Xu Fangliang was the general engineer in charge of designing the line.[5]

468 km of the railway line is laid on bridges, and 177 km is in tunnels, totaling 2/3 of the entire length. There are 684 bridges and 226 tunnels along the line.[10] The signalling system deployed on the line is CTCS-3.[11]

There are eighteen stations on the line. Fourteen of them are opened for passenger service. The northern terminal, Wuhan Railway Station was open simultaneously with the railway line. Guangzhou South station was opened later on January 30, 2010. Lechang East and Yingde West stations are under construction. Wulongquan East is an overtaking station which is not open for service.

On December 9, 2009, a train achieved a top speed of 394.2 kilometres per hour (244.9 mph) and took 02h55m to travel from Guangzhou South to Wuhan during a test run.[12][5]

The line is one of 42 planned high-speed train lines in China. In September of 2009, Chinese officials said they planned to build the rest of the 42 high-speed lines by 2012.[5]


The second class fare is about ¥0.46 per kilometer and the first class fare is 60% higher. Deluxe class is also available on CRH3 trains, which is about 80% higher than second class. Like other train services in China, insurance of ¥0.0011722 per kilometer is included for every ticket. The ratemaking distance is based on the existing Jingguang Railway, not the actual rail distance of the new railway. Hence, though the actual rail distance between Wuhan and Guangzhou South is 968 km, 1069 km is charged. The ticket price between the two terminal stations is ¥490 and ¥780 ($70 and $115 in U.S. currency).[13]


Reaction from existing passengers

The fare for the high-speed railway is about 4 times of the ordinary railway, which is about a fortnight of earning of an average worker. Hence the locals call the high-speed railway "white-collar railway".[14] However, 13 ordinary trains were canceled after the opening of the high-speed railway.[15] Hence, the existing passengers complain that they are "forced to high-speed". [16]

Reaction from airlines

China Southern Airlines, a national airline with one of two hubs in Guangzhou, spoke of concern over eroding market share from competition. Thirty-eight of 160 plus China Southern domestic routes will compete with the rail line. The airline has aggressively cut fares, slashing the advance purchase price of flights between Wuhan and Guangzhou by almost half.[17]

Tan Wangeng, president of China Southern Airlines, said, "In the long run, the coming of high-speed railway age is rather an opportunity than challenge to our airline company. China Southern is expecting cooperation with the railway company to extend the market and develop more packaged travel products for the passengers."[9]

See also


  1. ^ Timetable was slightly different on December 26 and December 27.
  2. ^ In the first day of its service on December 26, train G1001 finished the 922-km distance in 02h48m, and arrived at Guangzhou North ten minutes ahead of schedule, averaging 329 km/h


  1. ^
  2. ^ “五一”奋战在工地 Xinhua, 2009-05-04
  3. ^ a b Mitchell, Tom (December 28, 2009). "Chinese Harmony train sets speed record". Financial Times. Retrieved December 28, 2009. 
  4. ^ Wuhan-Guangzhou bullet train link to hit airlines hard, China Daily, 2009-12-26
  5. ^ a b c d e World's fastest rail journey starts operation, Xinhua, December 26, 2009, .
  6. ^ "China unveils 'world's fastest train link'". AFP via Google. December 26, 2009. Retrieved December 26, 2009. 
  7. ^ Colin Taylor (September 2007). "TGV Est lifts the record". Railway Gazette International. 
  8. ^ 武广高铁试运营56天票价收入7亿 2010-03-07
  9. ^ a b "Record-breaking Chinese rail opening piles pressure on airlines". The Independent. December 25, 2009. Retrieved December 26, 2009. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ [跑出394公里时速 “武广”创世界高铁速度之最 2009-12-10
  12. ^ Video of trial run. View of speedometer at 1m22s
  13. ^ "武广高铁票价定为780 490". CCTV ( Retrieved December 26, 2009. 
  14. ^ 票價高,武廣高鐵被抨擊為白領專車, 看中國, Feb 7, 2010, 
  15. ^ 准备迈入高铁时代,需要警惕“被高速”, Xinhua Daily Telegraph, Feb 7, 2010, 
  16. ^ 高鐵來了我“被高速”了, 中國經濟網, Feb 7, 2010, 
  17. ^ Wuhan-Guangzhou bullet train link to hit airlines hard, The China Post, December 27, 2009, .

External links

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