The Guiyang–Guangzhou High-Speed Railway (HSR) is remarkable for its challenging construction and for the huge difference it makes to poor mountain areas' economy and tourism. These 10 Guiyang–Guangzhou HSR facts illustrate its significance.
1. First Karst HSR
Guiyang–Guangzhou is the first high-speed railway running through China's beautiful limestone landscapes, for about 220 km (140 miles).
2. 81% Is Bridges and Tunnels
504 bridges and 238 tunnels make a very direct, but extremely costly (90 billion yuan / 15 billion USD), time-saver.
3. Longest Bridge Is Over 9 km
Dongping Waterway Bridge (southwest of Guangzhou, Guangdong) is 9,230 meters long.
4. Longest Tunnel Is Over 14 km
Yanshan Tunnel (near Rongjiang station), at 14,693 meters, only takes 4 minutes on 250 km/h D-trains, but took about 3 years to construct.
5. Operating Deficit of 2 Billion Yuan a Year
3 billion yuan (about 500 million USD) of loan repayments with only 1 billion yuan (160 million USD) in profits is expected per year.
6. Linking Rich and Poor Like Never Before
It's the first transportation artery directly connecting less-developed Southwest China with the prosperous east coast.
7. Peek-a-Boo Ticket Prices
Ticket prices were briefly available by phone inquiry before the railway started operation, but the next day they were unobtainable.
8. Hot-Cake Tickets
On December 24, 2014, two days before the line opened, tickets for the first train were made available for purchase. They were sold out within 13 minutes!
9. Overland Travel Time Cut by Up to 80%
The trip from Guangzhou to Guiyang, which once took 20 hours, is now possible in 4 hours 10 minutes!
10. A Big Coach-Sickness Saver
The trip from Guilin to Sanjiang takes 3 hours on the popular but winding tourist coach route, but less than 1 hour by high-speed train; Kaili to Rongjiang, a stomach-churning 4 hours by mountain road, now takes less than 1 hour by smooth bullet train; and Kaili to Congjiang, once taking 5½ hours by coach takes under 1 hour by train!