The world's longest high-speed rail line began operations in China Wednesday.
The first train of the 2,298-kilometer Beijing-to-Guangzhou route departed from the capital at 9:00 a.m. local time (0100 GMT), with a second train departing an hour later from Guangzhou.
Trains on the new route will travel at 300 kilometers an hour, which will reduce the travel time between Beijing and the southern economic hub from more than 20 hours to just eight.
The Chinese government is planning to build a network of high-speed railways, with four east-west lines and four north-south lines in operation by 2020.
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