Harbin-Dalian HSR Ready to Rock in July 2012

And it rocks exactly a year after the Beijing-Shanghai HSR took off.

The Harbin-Dalian (Hada) HSR (哈大高速铁路) will be ready to ferry riders from Heilongjiang’s capital, Harbin, down to Dalian in Liaoning, in under 4 hours’ time as of July 2012. (The original line was scheduled for a 1 October 2011; however, Sheng Guangzu, the present person in charge of the Chinese mainland authorities responsible for railway transport, delayed this and nearly all projects.) Trial runs (not carrying passengers) are tentatively scheduled for early March 2012.

If trains running on this line are also “extended” to Beijing, travel time will fall from over 9 hours to less than 6 hours, based on a rough calculation and with the present temporary speed limits considered. That’s about 2 hours faster than the original Beijing-Harbin Railway before the temporary speed limits were introduced.

Final station for this line up in northeastern China is the Harbin West Railway Station, which will host Harbin Metro Line 3 upon its completion in late 2012. This new station easily knocks the existing two stations, Harbin and Harbin East, off the map in terms of size, traffic and glitziness.

This line will service northeastern China’s Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning provinces, and call at four major train hubs: Harbin (West), Changchun, Shenyang and Dalian. In the city of Changchun, riders can also change to express intercity trains headed to the city of Jilin (inside the province of Jilin — confused?…).

We are predicting that the CRH380 trains will service this new line as the present-day CRH5 trains are too slow (this line is designed for speeds up to 350 km/h, but CRH5 trains “max out” at a “mere” 350 km/h).

The other difficulty is the weather in this part of China. Winters here can be hellishly cold, so no “real” work can get underway during the final months of the year. The opening next year ends a 5-year HSR marathon for northeastern China.

Travel time from Beijing to Harbin will further fall to around 5 hours (based even on the temporary speed limits) if future trains leave Beijing via Beijing South via Tianjin to Tangshan, Qinhuangdao, Shenyang and Changchun before reaching Harbin. Ultimate relief comes in the form of a totally-new Beijing-Shenyang HSR, which, when it opens by late 2015 (according to the 12th Five-Year Plan), will slash travel time to 4 hours if trains run at the maximum speed limit — 350 km/h — throughout.

This item was first posted in a constituent site which was later merged with Tracking China. It was posted before 2012 and may contain outdated content. If a specific date/timestamp was not found, the default used instead is at 12 noon Beijing time.

By David Feng

David Feng — founder and publisher, Tracking China, a Street Level China website.

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