World's longest high-speed rail line opens with speeds of 186mph

China has opened the world's longest high-speed rail line. It runs 1,428 miles from the country's capital in the north to Guangzhou, an economic hub in southern China.

An attendant stands inside a high-speed train during a test trip from Beijing
An attendant stands inside a high-speed train during a test trip from Beijing Credit: Reuters

The line officially opened today when a train left from Beijing at 9am local time. Another train left Guangzhou for Beijing an hour later.

Trains on this high-speed line will initially run at just over 300 kph (186 miles per hour) with a total travel time of about eight hours.

CRH380 Harmony bullet trains are seen at a high-speed train maintenance base in Wuhan
CRH380 Harmony bullet trains are seen at a high-speed train maintenance base in Wuhan Credit: Reuters

Before today, the fastest time between the two cities by train was more than 20 hours.

Railway is an essential part in China's transportation system, and its government plans to build a grid of high-speed railways with four east-west lines and four north-south lines by 2020.