A Nanjing - Anqing train arrives at Wuhu on the opening day. Photo: Xinhua

CHINA: The 258 km Nanjing – Anqing Intercity Railway was opened to revenue service by China Railway Corp on December 6, following four months of test running.

Under construction since 2010 at a cost of 25bn yuan, the 200 km/h Passenger-Dedicated Line mainly serves the province of Anhui, with a short section in Jiangsu leading to the regional capital at Nanjing.

The line is intended to boost regional connectivity in the Yangtze river valley, carrying frequent short-distance trains. Connecting with the Beijing – Shanghai PDL at Nanjing Nan, the route serves eight intermediate stations at Jiangning Xi, Ma'anshan Dong, Dangtu Dong, Wuhu, Yijiang, Fanchang Xi, Tongling and Chizhou.

Journey times between Nanjing and Anqing have been reduced from 8 h on the existing line to 90 min for the fastest trains and 120 min for stopping services. Anqing – Shanghai is reduced from 12 h to just 3 h.

CRC is initially operating five trains in each direction per day. With effect from the national timetable change on January 9 this will increase to 21 trains each way. The line has a design caapcity of 60 trains/day in each direction with a minimum headway of 4 min.