It is one year since the fatal Wenzhou train crash dented China's enthusiasm for high-speed trains. Construction and operation has resumed of high-speed railway networks, but at a slower pace and in a more cautious way.
Instead of mentioning the accident on Monday, the country's railway ministry announced China's completion of railway to Lop Nur, a northwest dried lake where China exploded its first atom bomb, on its official website.
In Hanzhou, several thousands kilometers from where the train collision happened on July 23 last year taking 40 lives, it is another busy day for the railway network during the summer travel peak.
The waiting-halls in the Hangzhou Railway Station are, as usual, flooded with business travelers, homecoming students and tourists.
Passengers that once avoided taking high-speed trains after the Wenzhou accident have returned one year later.
"There is no better choice, and the chance of there being an accident is low, anyway," said Huang Yunyi, a clerk at a foreign trade company in Hangzhou, provincial capital of Zhejiang.
A high-speed train slammed into a stalled train near the eastern city of Wenzhou, leaving 40 people dead and 172 injured. The incident was blamed on faulty signaling equipment, and 54 officials, including former Railway Minister Liu Zhijun, have been punished.
About 52.6 million passengers trips have been made on the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed line since it started operation on June 30 last year, according to the railway operator.
People were lining up before ticket counter to take the Beijing-Tianjin high-speed train this afternoon. The line between the two cities, which opened August 1, 2008, is China's first high-speed railway, with a designed maximum speed of 300-350 kilometers per hour.
A Xinhua reporter who took the train found that every seat in the car was occupied.
But it still takes time to heal wounds of the past tragedy. For Xiang Weiyi, who was the last survivor to be found in the wreckage, the train crash not only took away her parents, but also left her with serious injuries to her left leg at the age of two.
The girl is now able to walk, run and jump, which is a "miracle," according to her uncle, Xiang Yuyu.
"Every Chinese expects the fatal incident could make for a more safe railway system," said Feng Gang, a sociology professor with the Zhejiang University.
"I will continue to support the development of our high-speed trains, as they are among a few high-tech miracles which people can feel proud of in China," said Chen Shiyi, Head of Graduate School of Peking University and a visiting scholar of Los Almos.
The combined length of China's high-speed railway has reached 13,000 kilometers, the most out of any other country in the world.
In response to the fatal accident, China slowed down work on new lines, conducted nationwide safety checks and ordered train to cut speeds — some of the lines have cut train speeds to less than 200 kilometers per hour.
In late May, the Ministry of Railways (MOR) told Xinhua that only 2,322 kilometers of new high-speed lines would open this year, down from a plan of seven high-speed lines totaling 3,500 kilometers in March, and that the opening of the remaining lines could be postponed.
The first new line to open, Beijing-Wuhan, will add 1125 km to the network. The maximum design speed of the line is 350km/h and, in line with international practice to maintain a safety margin, trains will run at a maximum of 300km/h, said the MOR. Nevertheless the journey time between Beijing and Wuhan in central China will be reduced from 10 hours to just four hours.
The new Beijing-Wuhan line will connect with the existing high-speed line running from Wuhan south to Shenzhen, adjoining Hong Kong, so that for the first time Beijing, Wuhan, Guangzhou and Shenzhen will be connected by high-speed trains.