The Yuan 220.9 billion ($US 32.5 billion) line is the largest
investment project since the founding of the People's Republic in 1949.
When it opens next year, it will reduce the journey time between
China's political and financial capitals from 10 hours to less than
five. The new line will also bring much-needed relief to the existing
Beijing - Shanghai line, where passenger traffic density was more than
five times the national average in 2007, and double the national
average for freight.

China's railway network will reach 110,000km by 2012, of which 13,000km
will be high-speed lines. A further 7000km of conventional lines and
3000km of high-speed lines are planned by 2020.