Beijing-Shanghai high-speed train link expects first profit

After having recorded four consecutive years of losses, the high-speed rail link between Beijing and Shanghai is expecting to make a profit for the first time this year.

On this 1,318 km line route, € 4.4 billion worth of tickets were sold in 2014, but final results have not been released yet. More than 100 million trips were made on the Beijing-Shanghai line last year, up 27 per cent, about an eighth of all bullet train trips in China. Average daily trips on the route rose to some 290,000 last year from 132,000 in 2011.

High-speed rail operators are said to have difficulties in making profits from pure passenger traffic. The China Rail Corporation (CRC), managing the world's largest high-speed rail network, lost € 760 million in the first half of 2014. The first profits of the Beijing-Shanghai line could be a turning point. "Behind the financial improvements are rapidly increasing passenger numbers," said Sun Zhang of Tongji University.

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