Guangdong speeds into a very fast future indeed

Shenzhen and Zhuhai are only 50 kilometers apart by sea, but the land route is over 150 kilometers.

Photo from CFP

Photo from CFP

By TANG Jun

 

Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province, is 2,100 kilometers from Beijing, roughly the distance from Chicago to San Francisco. It takes about eight hours to travel from Guangzhou to Beijing by bullet train but could be less than four hours within 15 years.

According to a local spatial plan, Guangdong Province is looking into a superfast maglev train system connecting Guangzhou with Beijing and Shanghai. The document also mentions a coastal bullet train system with undersea tunnels connecting Shenzhen and Zhuhai.

China now has two maglevs capable of operating at over 600 kilometers per hour. One developed by CRRC Group, the world's largest rolling stock manufacturer, completed test runs in a Shanghai lab last year. The next step is to carry passengers, with a 50-kilometer track planned for the trial operations. So there is still a long way to go before the 4-hour trip becomes a reality.

Shenzhen and Zhuhai are only 50 kilometers apart by sea, but the train journey is over 150 kilometers. Party secretary of Zhuhai GUO Yonghang said last year that work on a tunnel connecting Shenzhen and Zhuhai would begin before the end of 2025.

The document also mentions a tunnel or bridge from Guangdong to Hainan. Sea or air are currently the only ways to get to the resort island. During Spring Festival in 2018, when heavy fog covered the Qiongzhou Strait, suspending all sea-bound transport, plane tickets quickly became unaffordable.

The Chinese Academy of Engineering looked at more than 20 different plans for a link in 2019, but no blueprint to connect mainland China and the island has been made.