The Wuhan-Guangzhou high-speed railway with the world’s fastest train journey at a 350-kmph designed speed started operation on Saturday.

Two passenger trains rolled out of the Wuhan Railway Station and Guangzhou North Railway Station at about 9 a.m. and reached the terminals within three hours, compared with the previous 10 hours 30 minutes.

The service between Wuhan, a metropolis in central China, and Guangzhou City, a business hub in the southern Guangdong Province, was put into trial operation on December 9, reaching a maximum speed of 394.2 kmph.

A 600-member delegation from Xianning City boarded the train at 10 a.m. at Xianning North Station to promote tourism and attract investment in Guangzhou. Nearly two hours later, they had to take off winter coats on arrival of Guangzhou where the temperature was about 20 degrees Celsius at noon.

In 2004, China completed the rail line from Guangzhou to Shenzhen, both in Guangdong Province, with a speed of 160 kmph. Now the speed more than doubled within five years, said Xu Fangliang, general engineer in charge of designing the Wuhan-Guangzhou high-speed line. The average speed of the high-speed railways is 243 kmph in Japan, 232 kmph in Germany and 277 kmph in France, he said