WOW – Hangzhou to Shanghai in 45 mins in reclining leather. Beat that Virgin!
I’ve just arrived in Shanghai having left Hangzhou this afternoon.
We caught the 1.00pm High Speed CHR train and arrived 45mins later. It left from near the West Lake in Hangzhou, near the town centre and in less than an hour it was arriving in Shanghai. We arrived 15mins before “take off” and were shown to our reclining leather seats. With free WIFI, drinks and snacks, I wish the trip had been a little longer.
90% of the trip was spent cruising at 300KPH. Since a couple of high profile “incidents”, they’ve slowed from 400KPH. It must improve their breaking distance! This might account for the fact that we were the only people in our carriage. I asked Alex, from the Hangzhou studio, if he used the high speed trains, but he said that he didn’t trust them.
The fact that we didn’t need to get a taxi an hour out of town to check in at the airport 2 hours ahead of the flight, meant that this was a much quicker option than flying, and at £23 for a first class ticket, much better value. I suspect that for it to be worth flying, the flight would need to be 5 hours plus.
I spoke to the officials from the Shandong region about CHR. They were very proud of it and explained the difficulty of mobilising a nation the size of China. The technology may be German, the train was from Siemens, but China is leading the way when it comes to implementation.