World's longest bullet train service begins in China

 
CRH380 Harmony bullet trains are seen at a high-speed train maintenance base in Wuhan, Hubei province, early on Dec 25, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING, Dec 26, 2012 (AFP) - China started service on the world's longest high-speed rail route on Wednesday, the latest milestone in the country's rapid and - sometimes troubled - super fast rail network.

The opening of the new 2,298km line between Beijing and Guangzhou means passengers will be whisked from the capital to the southern commercial hub in less than a third of the 22 hours previously required.

China Central Television broadcast the departure of the first train live from Beijing West Railway Station. It also carried live reports from inside showing passengers toting cameras to apparently snap commemorative photos.

Trains will travel at an average speed of 300kmh over the line, which includes 35 stops in major cities such as Zhengzhou, Wuhan on the Yangtze River and Changsha.

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