I wanted to post about this earlier already, but did not find the time yet. Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday that the speed of trains between Beijing and Shanghai will be increased from 160 km/h to 200 km/h, leading to a travel time of only 7 hours. According to the article the current travel time is 13.5 hours (although I think the fastest train – the overnight express- takes actually only 12 hours). If you think about it – something Xinhua never does – , it is a bit strange that by increasing the speed by 25% the total travelling time reduces by almost 50%.
It actually comes close to being an alternative to travelling by plane, especially if you travel from city center to city center. On average it takes me more than 5 hours from beginning to end destination when I travel by plane between these two cites, and on occasions much more than that. If the train has good seats, free wifi and electricty for my laptop I will give it a try.