China is renowned for its high-speed railway technology and the incredible rate with which the country’s railway network has expanded. The country has now built the world’s first circular high-speed railway line. It will go into service on Wednesday in China’s southernmost province of Hainan. Passengers can go around the main island of the province, while enjoying a view of the sea.
The railway line covers 650 kilometers (about 400 miles), connecting all the airports in the tourist haven, with 29 stops along with the route. The loop’s eastern section was opened at the end of 2010, bringing benefits to the local economy.
The first section, with a total length of 653 kilometres, began operation in December 2010. The latest and final addition to the line cost over 27.1 bn yuan (US$4.1 bn) allowing a top speed of 200 kilometres per hour.
At the start of the operation of the loop, the project provided a stimulus for development and investment in the western part of Hainan, especially when industries, energy houses, transportation ports are all concentrated in the area.
Up to 20 empty trains will run on the 345-km Western Ring Railway per day in the trial period. Exercises will test responses to emergency situations. The western stretch will be officially put into operation at the end of this year. The western stretch has 16 stops in six cities and counties, linking provincial capital Haikou with Sanya, a tropical tourist spot.