By P Chong Sat. 17 April 2010
London to Beijing by Train . . . in just TWO Days!
It’s plane to fly & train to ride!
Speaking from personal college days’ experience, Euro-Rail round trip ticket provided us with the most convenient & budget way of seeing Europe. We could without problem alight & embark at any point along our planned scheduled holiday route. By so doing, we covered numerous destinations without costing us heftily.
However, if time is of the essence, the train journey from London to Beijing taking a week is not one most people would currently consider. Imagine if you could find yourself stepping off in the Chinese capital in a mere two days that would be a dream!
The prospect of this incredible journey is being fast forwarded with China’s ambitious plans to build a high-speed rail network to Europe. As with all the Chinese leaping achievements in the past thirty years, the realisation of this dream may be sooner than your wish.
Under the scheme, British passengers would be able to depart from King’s Cross in London and, using the Channel Tunnel, join a service in Paris to the Chinese capital Beijing.
Rail expert Wang Mengshu, from China’s Academy of Engineering , said: “We are aiming for the trains to run at 215mph.” That means the 5,070-mile trip from London to Beijing – which currently takes a week or more and several changes of service – could be completed in 48 hours.
The new service will not be arriving in Britain just yet, but the Chinese are hopeful it could be here within ten to 15 years. China already has its own high-speed railway network, and is negotiating to extend this to up to 17 countries. It’s certainly providing a network of affordable speedy rail travel. Indeed it’s globalisation in action!
Mr Wang said most of the countries covering the Northern Route & the South East Asian Route are already at the negotiating table. The talks involve a trade of resources for technology. Many of the countries are under-developed but mineral rich. So it’s a gain-gain situation for all concerned. China has proposed three highspeed railway projects, although the specific routes have yet to be decided & finalised.
The first, the South East Asian Line, would potentially connect Kunming in southern China, with Singapore via Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. Another, the Northern or Central Asian Line, could start in Urumqi in northern China and go through Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan , and possibly end in India.
The third, that is the Europe Line, would start in China’s north-east and go north through Russia and then into Western Europe.(Please refer Map above).
Though the project may be beset with security issues such as illegal migration, smuggling and visas, which could all be ironed out & the bumpy ride smoothened. Undoubtedly, the ambitions of the world’s most populous country are rarely derailed.
China is spending £480 billion on domestic railway expansion, aiming to build nearly 19,000 miles of railway in the next five years. Presently it boasts of the world’s fastest train, the 250 mph Harmony Express, which speeds 660 miles between the cities of Wuhan and Guangzhou in three hours.
It’s globalisation in action
Bringing dreams to realisation
Freeing the world of domination
Fulfilling dreams, hope & aspiration