With a population of about 1.35 billion, China is currently the world’s most populous country. In order to manage its rapidly growing population, the Chinese government has taken several steps including the introduction of high-speed rail (HSR). Since the first high-speed train was launched back in 2007, the number of passengers using these services daily has increased to over 1.33 million. One of the chief HSR routes is the one from Beijing to Guangzhou. Opened in 2012, trains on this route cover as many as 1,400 miles in just over 8 hours. Recently, another high-speed train was introduced between Shanghai and Guangzou. Approximately the same distance as between Los Angeles and Seattle, the 1,110 miles journey is covered in no more than 7 hours.
The largest Chinese city with a population of 23 million, Shanghai is also a major shipping and trading center. Additionally, some of the biggest container ports are present in this city. Home to a higher number of skyscrapers than New York, the city’s public transit system is said to bigger than that of London. This month itself, the government opened more than 30 HSR routes, in just over one week! Trains form the perfect alternative to cars and other means of transport, especially in a country like China with so high population density. A recent report, submitted by UC-Berkeley, said:
The ITS researchers found that high-speed rail has the potential to be the lowest energy consumer and greenhouse gas emitter only if it consistently travels at high occupancy or uses a low-emission electricity source such as wind, both of which will require appropriate planning and continued investment.