The new trains run at an average of 300 kilometers per hour (186 mph) — a speed that makes cell phone connections unstable, Xinhua, China's state-run news agency, reported. A U.S. Amtrak trip between New York and Miami, a shorter distance than between Beijing and Guangzhou, takes almost 30 hours, the New York Times noted.
The new rail may save China on fuel use and emissions by freeing older trains to carry freight between factories in the north and ports in the south. Such freight is currently shuttled by fuel-hungry trucks. Other major southern cities the new line will connect to Beijing include Shenzhen and Hong Kong, which is an additional two-hour train ride from Guangzhou, Time reported.