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Guangzhou to Nanchang High-Speed Rail to Take Just 5 Hours

Posted: 08/13/2014 6:06 pm

high speed rail trainShenzhen passengers will be able to take a direct train to Nanchang in only five hours before the end of this year, reports SZ News.

Once finished, a trip from Guangzhou to Guiyang will be shortened from 22 hours to four, while a trip from Guangzhou to Nanning will be shortened from 14 hours to three.

The line also means other speedier connections. Once the high-speed railway network is complete, a trip from Shenzhen to Guiyang will take just five hours, while a trip from Shenzhen to Nanning will take just four hours.

Photo: QQ News


Forget Flights, Now Trains Out of Shanghai Are Delayed, Too

Posted: 07/24/2014 10:13 am

high speed rail trainWe recently informed our readers of the 26 day disruption to air travel that will be affecting east coast cities like Shanghai and Hangzhou. People who need to travel urgently were advised to take China’s state-of-the-art high-speed rail network instead. But now, it turns out, that might not work either.

In light of typhoon Matmo, some train travel has been cancelled in east coast cities. Shanghai has had 19 high-speed rail trains cancelled at Hongqiao Station, and another two trains have been cancelled in Beijing, reports CCTV.

The trains were mostly headed south to areas that are to be affected by the hurricane that include Fujian, Shenzhen.

Ticket holders can get them refunded at the train station.

Photo: cuepa


HK-GZ High-Speed Railway Hit With More Delays, Won’t Commence Until 2016

Posted: 05/16/2014 12:58 pm

Once you take off all the red tape from the packaging, it’s sure to go really fast.

An independent panel has been convened to examine the delay to the Hong Kong construction of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link, said Acting Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor in a report from the Standard.

The announcement was made after legal arbitration was raised as a possibility to settle the disagreement over whom should pay for extra construction costs between the local government and MTR Corp, the developer of the Hong Hong-based section of the high-speed railway.

An announced delay to the completion of the project moved back the opening schedule to 2016 due to unforeseen complications. As such, MTR Corp put the new cost of the railway at HK$68.4 billion, $3.4 billion more than originally estimated.

Though the Hong Kong government had sent a letter stating they did not intend to cover this additional cost, MTR Corp cited a 2010 entrustment agreement whereby the government will fully reimburse contractors and consultants. However, in the event of a “material increase”, both sides are to negotiate the difference in the project management fee.

So yes, a potential legal delay caused by a construction delay may be solved with this independent panel, which won’t issue a report until November. Until then, there’s always the option of walking, or just staying put.



Torrential Rainfall Wreaks Havoc on Guangdong, Southern China [UPDATED]

Posted: 05/12/2014 11:56 am

guangdong heavy rain fatalities service disruption transportationA record-setting rainfall that has hammered Guangdong since May 8 has caused numerous fatalities and service disruptions throughout the province and other parts of China.

5 people are dead and another 5 are injured in a traffic accident on the Beijing-Hongkong highway in which an overnight sleeper bus from Hubei overturned near the exit of the Yishan tunnel near Shaoguan, Guangdong at 3:42am on May 11 (pictured above).

Service for 40 high-speed provincial trains has been suspended as of Sunday at 2pm; affected routes include the Guangzhou-Shenzhen railway, the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong railway, and the railway stemming from Pingguan, Guangxi.

Due to a landslide near Guangming, service of the high-speed rail between Guangzhou-Shenzhen was not restored as of 12pm today, but is reported to be operational now. Caijing reports that provincial high-speed rail service is still not operational as of 1:44pm today as the landslide obstruction has still not been dealt with.

guangdong heavy rain fatalities service disruption transportation

Ticket sales for Provincial train travel were suspended at 4pm on May 11 with the last train having departed at 2:43pm. Passengers onboard train D7037 from Guangzhou to Dongguan reported being stuck in transit, and were delayed by 6 hours. Medical attention was called for 2 passengers with health conditions.

dongguan rain rescue children students school23 students and 12 teachers had to be rescued from flood waters at the Huate School in Tangxia Longjing Garden, Dongguan.

guangdong heavy rain fatalities service disruption transportationCommuters lend a hand in Shenzhen as the G107 bus near Airport Road in Bao’an District breaks down in traffic.

bus fungus rain guangdong guangzhouThe heavy rainfall has led to the growth of mushrooms to crop up on Guangzhou city buses.

23 flights were cancelled with some 300 flights delayed at Hong Kong International Airport on Sunday and early Monday morning while Shenzhen Airport canceled at least 48 flights.

Water was discharged from the Shenzhen reservoir at 8pm on May 11 to relieve excess pressure that may have caused flooding in parts of Hong Kong’s New Territories.

guangdong heavy rain fatalities service disruption transportationIn other parts of China, the heavy rain is cited as the cause for an earthen wall collapsing onto a factory in Qingdao, Shandong Province. 18 people are dead with three hurt when the wall collapsed onto the temporary housing dormitory for the factory’s workers on May 11 at 5:48pm.

The rain is also blamed for the death of a farmer in Hunan Province who was the victim of a rain-triggered landslide, as well as a fatality in Guangxi.

On Sunday, the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters stated the rain has destroyed 1,400 houses, forcing the evacuation of more than 50,000 residents and flooding 15,000 hectares of cropland throughout Guangdong, Hunan and Jiangxi provinces.

Hunan was reported to have relocated 50,400 people while Guangxi relocated 4,139 people and suffered damages to 945 houses, incurring a total economic loss of approximately 75 million yuan (12 million USD).

China Daily reports the disaster to have affected 1,216,000 people over five provinces, 23 cities, and 77 counties.

Photos: Weibo (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), Nandu


There’s A Lot of People in China: Labor Day Holiday Edition

Posted: 05/2/2014 1:30 pm

Xiaomeisha resortToday in “aren’t you glad you stayed at home“:

Over 30,000 tourists jammed the Xiaomeisha Holiday Resort in Shenzhen to enjoy the sand and sun in the pleasure of each other’s company (picture above).

jiangmen traffic jamTraffic has been congested on the Shenyang-Haikou Expressway at the Jiangmen section since 9am today with a queue measuring over 2km long. At least it’s not as bad as the 55km long standstill on the Beijing-Tibet Expressway.

guangshen delay guangzhou shenzhen high speed rail trainYesterday on May 1, mechanical problems on the Guangzhou-Shenzhen high-speed railway delayed the operating schedule by over an hour in some circumstances and stranded passengers at both terminal locations.

Photos: Weibo (2, 3)


PRD News Brief: Earthquake in Heyuan, Immigration Smart Card, Dongguan Rebound

Posted: 04/25/2014 6:12 pm

heyuan earthquakeA category 3.8 earthquake happened today April 25 at 4:07pm in Dongyuan County, City of Heyuan. The epicenter of the quake was 7,000 meter deep, and was strong enough that its tremors were felt in Guangzhou.

While we had earlier told you about the economic downturn suffered by hotel industry in Dongguan, it was reported that Dongguan’s contribution to the GDP has actually increased by 7.3 percent in the first quarter of this year to RMB 118.23 billion. I guess there’s nothing to do now but work?

The Guiyang-Guangzhou high-speed railway is scheduled to open at the end of this year. Expected to last a total time of six hours, trial runs on the Zhaoqing-Guangzhou section of the line is scheduled to begin on November 1.

A pilot program to introduce an immigration smart card will be available to Guangdong residents in May. The smart card will embedded with a microchip with the users personal information, and should cut down on processing times.

a bite of china season two plagarismThere’s a popular backlash going on against that one Chinese show that we had such high hopes for, A Bite of China. Netizens have been complaining that the tone of the show has shifted to contain more nationalistic sentiments, and has less to do with telling stories about cuisine than it does about propaganda. As well, this post helpfully points out that the first scene from the first show appears to be a shot-for-shot plagarism of a BBC documentary (see above).

Starting next week, 10 unmarked police cars will be joining the regular fleet of police cars in Shenzhen. Police will still be required to dress in police uniforms, though.

Guangzhou markets will be trying out a pilot program to sell frozen chicken meat. 82 markets and 894 stalls will be taking part in this flirtation with refrigeration.

On April 21, a man man blocked traffic on Baogang Boulevard in Zhuhai District, Guangzhou, and unsuccessfully tried to kidnap a child in broad daylight. Police say they think the suspect is “crazy”, and has scheduled him for testing.

7,301 Guangzhou children compete to win one of the 893 spots available for public kindergarten. And may the odds be ever in your favor.

As US fashion exports decrease by 4.1% in February, Dongguan textile makers are anticipating a slowdown in the oncoming year.

Four parcels of land with a total area of 74,300 square meters in the Qianhai Special Economic Zone in Guangzhou have been sold. The largest of these lots has been purchased by Tencent Holdings, who in turn are now accepting bidders to lease its future office space. Applicants must be listed internet companies that have made revenue of 40 billion yuan for the past year, so start counting your mao’s and fen’s.

Photo: Weibo, iFeng


Shenzhen-Xiamen high speed rail to launch this month

Posted: 12/4/2013 7:00 am

The Nanfang has been getting emails from people in the Pearl River Delta excited about the upcoming launch of the Shenzhen-Xiamen high-speed rail, so we’re pleased today to have a formal launch date: December 26.

Six trains began running along the line on Sunday (December 1) as part of the testing phase, and it was a success:

Train No. D2316 started from the Shenzhen North Railway Station at 10:15 am. Running through 7 stations at a speed of 200 km per hour, it took 3 hours and 52 minutes for the train to cover the 502.4 km distance from Shenzhen to Xiamen.

Already airlines are feeling the heat. Fares have been reduced from Hong Kong to Xiamen — all the way to RMB420 — to compete against the new line.

The Nanfang reported earlier that tickets on the new line will be only RMB160 for economy class, and RMB190 for first class, much cheaper than usual routes on high-speed rail. This makes a weekend trip that much easier.



Landslide causes chaos at Guangzhou Railway Station

Posted: 08/18/2013 7:45 pm

A landslide on Sunday that blocked part of the tracks between Guangzhou and Beijing has left 80,000 people stranded at Guangzhou Railway Station, causing tempers to flare.

Global Times is reporting that passengers are being asked not to go to the station, as no trains will be departing until further notice.  If you’ve got a train journey planned in the next day or so, best to check in advance before heading down to the station.

The landslides have been caused by torrential rains which have been battering Guangdong in recent days, following Typhoon Utor which hit on Wednesday last week.

Shanghaiist has published several photos of the chaos at the station, from Southern Metropolis Daily.  We’ve included a selection below.


Shenzhen to Xiamen high-speed rail ticket prices announced

Posted: 08/16/2013 11:37 am

We told you earlier this year that the next leg of the nation’s high-speed rail network is set to open, connecting Shenzhen with the scenic port city of Xiamen.

The original plan was to have the three-hour journey open in September this year, but it appears that’s been pushed back a few months.  Most of the track has been laid, and testing and commissioning is expected to be complete by the end of this year. Passenger operations will begin early next year.

Xiamen will only be 3 hours away

The ticket prices have also finally been revealed: it will cost RMB160 for a second-class trip between Shenzhen and Xiamen, and RMB190 for a first-class ticket.

It currently takes 14 hours by train to travel to Xiamen, so this will save a lot of time. It will also probably take another bite out of struggling airline companies.



Airline revenue crashing due to high-speed rail competition in China

Posted: 02/20/2013 3:55 pm

China’s major airlines are spilling red ink everywhere.

The SCMP is reporting that mainland carriers have amassed RMB1 billion (US$160 million) in losses in the last three months, with pressure coming from China’s ever-expanding high-speed rail network.

Those suffering include Guangzhou-based China Southern Airlines, the biggest of the major domestic carriers, whose revenue per kilometer – a measurement of the available seats sold – fell 1 per cent year-on-year. By comparison, Air China shed 1.5 per cent and China Eastern slumped 2 per cent.

But those statistics don’t really tell the story of last year.

China Southern, which is ramping up capacity with the introduction of five Airbus A380s, is putting more resources into its long-haul operations. The newly appointed ‘Canton Route’ is part of the new international focus. At the same time, it is having to contend with soaring jet-fuel prices.

Here is a significant line from the general manager Tan Wangeng carried in CAPA revealing the extent of today’s problems:

All of the carrier’s 30 weekly services from Guangzhou to Australia and New Zealand are profitable, the result of the carrier’s strategic transformation into an international network carrier (Xinhua, 06-Feb-2013). According to Mr Tan, the majority of Chinese carrier’s international routes are making losses.

With high-speed rail supercharging national connectivity, it’s going some way to put downward pressure on airfares, placing it at odds with the state-backed carriers.

Here’s what MF Global’s greater China transport analyst Geoffrey Cheng told SCMP’s Charlotte So:

“The diversion to high-speed trains has become more and more serious as the memory of the high-speed-train tragedy in Wenzhou in 2011 fades out.”

The situation has been made worse by airlines boosting capacity in expectation of a brisk Chinese New Year. Now, rock-bottom prices are in the system to try and fill seats.

While lagging, aviation analysts CAPA say growth will more than make up for short-term sluggishness. They says airlines can absorb a 3 per cent capacity cut in 2013.

If the 3% drop in capacity is entirely correlated to HSR, the one-year drop would be made up for in coming years with higher growth.

With the Chinese government tightly controlling aircraft imports, demand generally exceeds supply, which would allow any excess capacity on a route to be re-deployed.

CAPA has also conducted more of a detailed analysis on the impact of high-speed rail in China.

HSR holds an advantage over air travel on sectors under 800km. Between 800-1200km there could be a tradeoff depending on factors including how direct the train tracks are and what the fare difference is. Above 1200km air travel will almost always hold an advantage.

Seems pretty straight forward.

China Southern’s biggest high-speed rail threats are from Guangzhou to Wuhan (1020 km) and Beijing (2170km).

Image: Danny Lee

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