Major high-speed rail projects
Beijing to Shanghai
Due to open next month, this is the flagship high-speed rail route in China, although its maximum speed has been reduced from 380kph to 300kph. The fastest service will take just under five hours, about half the time of current trains. Ticket prices have not been announced but a one-way standard-class ticket is expected to cost about 750 yuan (Dh424).
Wuhan to Guangzhou
This line, just under 1,000km long, opened in late 2009 and is part of a high-speed route planned to run from Beijing to Guangzhou, two of China's three "first-tier" cities. Trains take just three hours to travel between Wuhan and Guangzhou, compared with more than 10 hours for conventional services. Additional fast trains have been allocated to the route thanks to strong demand.
Beijing to Tianjin
Trains racing along at up to 330kph take just 30 minutes to complete the journey on this service, a favourite with commuters and regularly sold out. The line was a world speed record holder for a conventional train route when it launched in August 2008 in time for the Beijing Olympics. Some services continue from Tianjin on to Tanggu, a port city.
Shanghai International Airport to Shanghai outskirts
This magnetic levitation (maglev) train line opened to the public in 2004, becoming the first high-speed commercial maglev service in the world. It puts conventional high-speed trains in the shade, travelling at 430kph. Plans to extend maglev services in China have, however, faced controversy over health concerns from residents living near lines.
Lanzhou to Urumqi
This line, linking Lanzhou, the capital of the central Gansu province, with the capital of the far west province of Xinjiang, is under construction and due for completion in 2015. While some regard it as helping to develop the far west of China, others say it is part of Beijing's agenda to increase control over this restive province, home to the Muslim Uighur minority.