CHINA: Revenue services on the 362·4 km Passenger-Dedicated Line between Zhengzhou in Henan province and Xuzhou in Jiangsu province began on September 10, trial operation having started on April 17.

The east-west route connects the Beijing – Guangzhou PDL at Zhengzhou Dong with the Beijing – Shanghai route at Xuzhou Dong, via intermediate stations at Kaifeng, Lankao, Minquan, Shangqiu, Dangshan, Yongcheng and Xiaoxian. Opening has reduced the Zhengzhou – Xuzhou journey time from 150 to 80 min. As well as linking the existing north-south PDLs, the new line connects with the Zhengzhou – Xi’an – Lanzhou route, providing significant reductions in journey times for long-distance services.

Construction of the line began in December 2012 and cost 48·6bn yuan. The alignment has designed for 350 km/h operation, although the passenger services operated using CRH380A and CRH380B trainsets are currently limited to 300 km/h.

Opening of the Zhengzhou – Xuzhou line reportedly takes the total length of the Chinese high speed rail network to more than 20 000 route-km.