Since it began operating in 2008, the Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Railway (BTIR), China’s first high-speed railway (HSR) with a design speed of 350 km/h, has transported 340 million people.
On Tuesday, the BTIR celebrated its 15th anniversary by departing Beijing South Railway Station on a slow-moving train bound for Tianjin Binhai New Area.
The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games were strongly supported by the BTIR’s functioning in August 2008, which hastened regional integration and growth. Along with the country’s burgeoning economy, it has also launched a rapidly expanding modern HSR network across populous China.
According to data from the China Railway Beijing Group Co., Ltd., the number of trains operating on the rail line each day has increased from 47 pairs to 128 pairs during the previous 15 years, and the shortest departure interval has decreased from 15 minutes to 3 minutes.
Every day, Wang Manman, a resident of Tianjin’s Wuqing District, takes the high-speed train to get to work in Beijing. The quickest trip only takes approximately 20 minutes, and she has a flexible choice of 11 trains throughout the morning rush from 6 to 9 a.m.
As of June 2022, the length of HSR consistently operating at 350 km/h was getting close to 3,200 kilometres, placing China first in the world with 42,000 kilometres of operational HSR.
According to Cheng Shidong, a transport official of the National Development and Reform Commission, high-speed trains have revolutionised travel patterns and lifestyles while also significantly improving resource allocation.