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China's first sea-rail link launched
Latest Updated by 2004-12-06 08:52:05

The first train from Haikou to Guangzhou being driven onto the ferry across the Qiongzhou Straits on Monday when China's first sea-rail link was launched.

China's first maritime rail service crossed the Qiongzhou Straits when the Guangdong-Hainan Railway opened Sunday to traffic between the rapidly booming Guangdong Province and its island neighbor of Hainan Province.

The maritime rail service is part of the Guangdong-Hainan Railway, which consists of a 139-kilometer stretch of track running from Zhanjiang to Hai'an, the ferry crossing and 182 kilometers of track on Hainan's west coast from Haikou to Sanya, a popular seaside resort at the southern tip of the island.

With 630 passengers, the first train, K408, left Haikou, the capital of Hainan, at 6:58 p.m. and was due to arrive at Guangzhou at 6:52 a.m. Monday.

The train, which was ferried across the Qiongzhou Straits on a 55-minute 24-km journey, becomes the country's first without dining cars as fires are not allowed on the ferry.

The first passenger train from Guangzhou to Haikou will leave at 10:26 p.m. Monday.

The Guangdong-Hainan Railway will have trains running to Beijing and Southwest China cities in two years.

Fares for the 12-hour journey cost between 138 yuan (US$16.68) for a seat and 400 yuan for a luxury sleeper. Tickets, available on a national train ticket network, can be booked six days in advance.

People traveling to Hainan would previously have to take ferries or planes. The Guangdong-Hainan railway originates in Zhanjiang, in the north of Guangdong Province, running through the Leizhou Peninsula to join up with an existing railway in western Hainan Island at Chahe, finally terminating in Sanya at the southern tip of the island.

The two ferries on the service are designed to carry 18 passenger cars or 40 freight cars, and 1,360 passengers.

With a length of 568.3 km, the Guangdong-Hainan railway is a joint investment of the Ministry of Railways, Hainan and Guangdong provinces, costing 4.5 billion yuan (US$542 million).

Editor: Donald

By: Source:szdaily
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