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Luxury soft-sleepers on high-speed trains get cool reception

  • Source: Global Times
  • [18:20 December 29 2010]
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 This photo shows passengers in a luxury soft-sleeper compartment of a CRH train travelling from Shanghai to Chengdu. Photo: news.xinmin.cn

By Jin Jianyu

China Railway High-Speed (CRH) trains are expected to begin operating between Shanghai and Chongqing and Shanghai and Chengdu from January 11, and the two lines will offer China’s most luxury sleeper facilities, leading to criticism from experts and netizens.

But there will be a reduction in such luxurious facilities on CRH trains between Beijing and Shanghai, the Shanghai Evening Post reported Wednesday.

A Xinhua report Tuesday said that all seats in the luxury soft-sleeper carriages are equipped with individual video systems. Passengers can also adjust air-conditioning and lighting, and there is also a mini-meeting room in the carriage.

A ticket for a place on a luxury soft-sleeper between Shanghai and Chengdu costs 2,330 yuan ($347.3), said the report, while an economy class air ticket costs about 1,500 yuan ($226.5).

“It’s not necessary to provide this type of luxury seats,” Zuo Yongfu, a Beijing resident, told the Global Times. “The price is too high for ordinary people.”

Zuo also said that these luxury seats mean that there would be less room for cheaper seats due to the space constraints. And this could result in more difficulties in purchasing train tickets – especially during the Spring Festival when hundreds of millions of migrants travel to spend the festival together with their loved ones.

According to statistics on the ticket service website of the Ministry of Railways, three CRH trains between Beijing and Shanghai – D306, D308 and D314 – are equipped with the luxury soft-sleepers.

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