At least that's what the government is now saying about China's high-speed trains. Prompted by last month's terrible crash and the subsequent investigation, the Ministry of Railways announced yesterday that trains on many of the new high-speed lines have to slow down. From the China Daily:
"According to the Ministry of Railways, during the initial stages, trains with a top design speed of 350 kilometers per hour will be lowered to 300 km/h, and the trains designed to run up to 250 km/h will operate at 200 km/h. The rails whose speed was previously raised to 200 km/h will be scaled down to 160 km/h. Ticket prices will also be reduced."
So the Beijing to Changchun trip may now take 7 hours. Never mind. That's still down from the 15 hours it took when I lived there in the 1990's.