China to remove luxury seats from bullet trains

April 21st, 2011 - 1:19 pm ICT by ANI  

Beijing, Apr 21 (ANI): Luxury seats will be removed from many of China’s bullet trains traveling between Beijing and Shanghai, giving passengers more space and making the ride cheaper, said country’s railway sources.

According to previous plan, bullet trains, which will race along a 1,318-km-long railway, were supposed to be equipped with seats and other accommodations meant to ensure business travelers can travel in luxury, comfort and privacy.

The inclusion of luxury seats similar to the first-class seats found on airplanes was proposed as a means of drawing affluent travelers away from the airlines that fly between the country’s top two metropolises.

But very few are attracted by the idea of the accommodations as many people have been clamoring for more affordable public transport.

Zhao Jian, a transport professor at Beijing Jiaotong University, praised the decision to respond to market demands by removing luxury seats from many of the bullet trains.

“The luxury cars on many of the existing high-speed lines have low occupancy rates, which is a huge waste,” the China Daily quoted Jian, as saying.

Without luxury seats, the trains will transport more passengers, leading to higher revenues from ticket sales, he added.

The new railway minister, Sheng Guangzu, has shown resolve to make the high-speed railway service more “satisfactory to the people”.

He said the high-speed railway between Beijing and Shanghai will operate at a slower maximum speed than first planned, at 300 kilometers an hour, giving passengers a safer and more affordable ride. (ANI)

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