China has opened the world's longest high-speed rail line, which more than halves the time needed to travel from the country's capital in the north to Guangzhou in southern China.
According to The Associated Press, the opening of the 1,428 mile line was commemorated by the 9am departure of a train from Beijing for Guangzhou.
The Guardian reports that the journey used to take around 24 hours, but now takes a mere eight hours at an average speed of 186mph and passing through five provinces.
The line makes stops in major cities, including provincial capitals Shijiazhuang, Wuhan and Changsha.
The high-speed network is one of the country's most expensive infrastructure projects and a symbol of its long-term ambitions.
Xinhua News Agency (citing the Ministry of Railways) said more than 150 pairs of high-speed trains will run on the new line every day.
Railway is an essential part of China's transportation system and the new opening brings the total distance covered by its high-speed system to more than 5,800 miles.
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