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This Chinese Bullet train arrived in Nanjing China 2 hours and 15 minutes late - (NR Photo)

 

 

Roman Wanderaugh's Travel Tips - CHINA'S BULLET TRAIN HAS PROBLEMS

Roman Wanderaugh - National Radio Text Service

 

 

After 12 days of official operation yesterday July 12th China's fast Bullet train ran into problems. China's CCTV News reported that on the Beijing to Shanghai trip arrived two hours late

 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

FAST MONEY FOR SLOW SERVICE

It was big news when China launched its Bullet Train earlier this month but after a month of trail runs. At first the train looked as good as gold but as they say all that glitters is not gold.

The train has experienced power outages due to poor weather and rain particularly in the southern section of the route and the Bullet lost its power and the ability to go forward.

After 12 days of official operation yesterday July 12th the train ran into problems. China's CCTV News reported that on the Beijing to Shanghai trip that the 5 PM fast train that departed Beijing at 5 PM and due to arrive in Shanghai at 9 PM arrived at midnight. Due to the electrical problems it was two hours late.

CCTV reported that many of the passengers were angry that they paid fast train money for slow to no train service. When they asked questions the train personnel had no answers.

Much was the same on our trip the same day. We depart Beijing on time at 11:45 AM with an expected arrival time of 3:45 PM in Nanjing, China. Problems started early. We waited 57 minutes on our second station stop. Other long station stop times were 20, 10 and 30 minutes. We arrived in Nanjing at 6 PM.

The train is said to be capable to reach 400 kilometers an hour. On our run we noticed that it reached 317 kph.

Tips:

It will be some time before they work out all of the bugs in the system. So if time is important to you consider other options of travel. If you have time it's a nice experience of you've never ridden a fast speed train before.

Buy your tickets IN ADVANCE as they sell out. The trains are full. We purchased ours a day in advance and got the last seats.

If you don't speak Chinese have someone write in Chinese what train you want on which you want to buy your ticket. Our ticket from Beijing was 445 Yuan = US $69.53. A not so tasty lunch is available for US $5.47 a bit more than a Big Mac meal in China. If you purchase a first class ticket for roughly US $250 you receive lunch for free.

There are two Bullet train services. The slow train takes 7 hours on the Beijing Shanghai run. The fast train is more expensive and SHOULD TAKE 5 hours.

The scenery is mostly flat farmland that turns into hills in the southern region.

The stations are spotless. Train and station staffs speak very little to NO ENGLISH. If they speak some English their comprehension is very poor but they try. Basically you're pretty much on your own.

There is no map in the magazine compartment noting the station stops but they do have an automated voice announcement in ENGLISH.


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