The Move to New and Toward Local
When we talk about High Speed, most often, we think about the grand lines, such as the Beijing-Shanghai HSR. However, newer and faster trains are also popping up around suburban routes in China. The explosion in metro construction has also meant smoother journeys avoiding traffic jams.
Finally made it! Jinshanwei Railway Station is right behind me. That is the train. That has to be the newest train on the rails in this part of Shanghai. It's a Type CRH6A train, so it's mainly suburban commuters.
Increasing ridership on the Chinese rails has meant the development of trains that can carry more people whilst running faster. For a long time, hard seat and hard sleeper trains were the norm, but they could run no faster than 160 km/h on very good lines. Yet they came in all shapes, all sizes, and all colors, and were a feast for the eyes for quite a few rail enthusiasts.
The newer trains cut travel time significantly. You can now do a thousand kilometers in just around three and a half hours on High Speed, with destinations such as from Beijing to Nanjing faster by rail than by air.
It's back to Beijing now on the new double-decker sleeper... high speed train!
For a long time, to get mileage inside urban centers, the metro was the first choice — provided, of course, your city even had one, or your destination was served by such a system. Yet even here, the railways are getting in on the act, with suburban railway being added to major conurbations across China.
So the rail move happens to trains and to passengers, with older-generation trains slowly making way for newer ones coming the other way... suburban services also being very big. That's the rail move as seen here in southern Shanghai. I'll see you wherever our journeys take you next.