When services begin on December 26 - the 119th anniversary of the birth of late Communist Party patriarch Mao Zedong - the 2,298-kilometre (1428 miles) line will eclipse the high-speed railway between Beijing and Shanghai. That 1,318-kilometre (819 miles) route opened in June last year.
It will connect the Pearl River Delta to the nation's political centre, and link the capitals of four land-locked provinces - Shijiazhuang , Hebei ; Zhengzhou , Henan ; Wuhan , Hubei ; and Changsha , Hunan , where the pace of economic growth has surpassed that of some coastal regions.
It will eventually allow high-speed trips between Beijing and Hong Kong, after the Shenzhen-Hong Kong high-speed link's completion, scheduled in 2015.
Trains will run at 300km/h (186 mph), although they are designed for speeds of up to 350km/h.
The shortest journey time between Beijing and Guangzhou will be less than eight hours, compared to three hours by air.
SOURCE - South China Morning Post
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