High-speed railway ready for opening
More than 80,000 tickets have been sold so far for the Shanghai ¨C Nanjing high-speed trains due to begin service on July 1.
The Huning intercity service will launch this Thursday when a G5000 train sets off from Hongqiao Transport Hub to Nanjing at 8am. The train is scheduled to reach Nanjing Railway Station at 9:13am.
The new rail line is due to formally open on July 1 -- the same day as the grand opening of Hongqiao Station on the Huning Intercity Railway. Passengers can call 95105105 to book the tickets from Wednesday.
A VIP ticket for the new Shanghai-Nanjing high-speed train is to cost 263 yuan (US$38.72) while the standard ticket price is 146 yuan.
Huning Intercity Railway is the result of a grand plan between Shanghai and Nanjing in Jiangsu Province to establish a high-speed railway which connects the regional transportation of both sides.
Construction work began in July 2008 and was completed this May. The main line is about 300 kilometers long, with 32 kilometers of track in Shanghai and 268 kilometers in Jiangsu Province. Along the main railway line there are up to 31 stations, depending on future plans, 133 bridges of various designs which occupy just over half the entire length, and five tunnels totaling 2.74 kilometers long.
After the line opens, Shanghai and Nanjing will become closer to each other, and the circle of Yangtze River Delta will seem smaller.
Hongqiao Station is an important part of the Hongqiao Traffic Hub, together with No. 2 Terminal at Hongqiao International Airport, Metro stations and ground transportation. --(6/28)
Wusongkou Port's Ambitious Target
Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Port, due to be operational at the end of this year, has set itself an ultimate goal of receiving 1 million international travelers annually, officials with the operator said yesterday.
The Wusongkou port, part of Shanghai's ambition to be a global shipping hub, is also working with authorities and industry associations to develop relevant services and businesses, including setting up a logistics center, training houses, commercial centers and restaurants, said Lu Guangyuan, general manager of Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal Development Co.
The port operator also signed a Sister Port Agreement with Singapore Cruise Center Pte. --(6/26)
Maps free on site
The Expo organizer has reminded people not to buy Expo site guide map online but to get it free at information desks inside the site.
The Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination has found some online stores selling maps for 3.8 yuan (US$0.54 cents) each. Store owners got the maps for free at site information desks and were selling them.
Officials warned that consumers might also run the risk of getting fake maps if they buy online or from unlicensed vendors.
The Expo 2010 Shanghai China Official Map provides a full picture of the site as well as information about all service facilities in seven languages.--(6/15)
World Cup shirt offer
The Argentina Pavilion will donate one shirt from its national soccer team to every 250,000th visitor to celebrate the team's good performance at the World Cup. But the gift shirt will not have a number or player's name on the back.
The pavilion has been telecasting World Cup games every day until closing time and the telecasts change according to the team's schedule, a pavilion spokesman said yesterday.
Pavilion officials also said they were considering inviting a soccer star from the team after the World Cup, although the project remains under discussion.
Also yesterday, the Italy Pavilion said it would display its national team's shirts at the pavilion in August.
Earlier, the European Union Pavilion said it would invite former European superstars such as Franz Beckenbauer of Germany, Michel Platini and Zinedine Zidane of France and Luis Figo of Portugal to visit Shanghai in September.--(6/24)
Red Cross donation
Shanghai Red Cross donated 180 first-aid kits to World Expo authorities yesterday.
The organization will keep supplying such medical needs throughout the event at no cost. Expo authorities are equipping pavilions with the first-aid kit to provide timely assistance to unwell staff and visitors. All medical support is free to the public in the Expo site.
Shanghai Red Cross has helped train Expo volunteers in administering first aid skills.
A week-long environmental protection campaign will be launched in the Expo site today to promote proper litter disposal and facility cleanliness.
Participants will get stickers, which they can use to exchange for gifts including fans and t-shirts.--(6/23)
Shanghai benefits from IT industry
Shanghai's output and exports of information technology products grew rapidly in the first five months due to the booming software and semiconductor industries, city officials said yesterday.
The revenue of local software and IT services is expected to maintain a "double-digit" growth annually in 2010.
Between January and May, Shanghai's IT output was 223.8 billion yuan (US$32.9 billion), an annual rise of 56 percent. The city's IT exports were worth 178.7 billion yuan, a 43 percent surge from a year ago, the commission said.
More than 4.4 billion integrated circuit units were produced in the period, an annual surge of 78 percent.
Meanwhile the city plans to train more IT professionals this year, according to Huang Zhaoda, a senior official of the Shanghai Municipal Economical and Information Technology Development Commission, the city's IT regulator.
"We have to train more IT talents to support the booming IT industry because talent is a necessary part of the industry's sustainable growth," Huang said at a conference.--(6/22)
Carry an umbrella
It will be wet most of this week according to weather forecasters. It will be mainly cloudy and rainy with showers expected today, and from Wednesday through Friday. The temperature will range from about 23 to 30 degrees Celsius, according to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.--(6/21)
Cradle of culture
A fashion show and dance performances will take the stage today in celebration of Turkey's National Pavilion Day.
The red and beige structure is in Zone C opposite the Germany Pavilion.
The exterior of the 2,000-square-meter pavilion drew its main inspiration from one of the first known settlements in the world called "Catalhoyuk" in Turkish, which were the center of advanced culture in the Neolithic period.
Themed "The Cradle of Civilization," the pavilion is divided into three sections that represent the past, present and future of an amazing journey.
The first section shows the visitors Turkey's historic firsts, featuring a map indicating the ancient sites of Turkey, the world's first mirror and the world's first man-built dam.?
The middle section is a 360-degree movie screen that displays scenes from the streets of Istanbul to reflect the pride of the city as the "European Capital of Culture."
The future in the final section is represented by the symbolic figure of the phoenix.
Traditional music will also be featured.--(6/20)
See your future in 3D
The Image Thematic Week at the Rhone-Alpes Pavilion and San Francisco Week were opened yesterday, both in the Urban Best Practices Area.
At the Rhone-Alpes Pavilion, people can see a vision of urban life in the future in a 3D movie. And there will be a series of lectures about the film industry in the region in collaboration with the Shanghai International Film Festival.
The pavilion is also planning to broadcast a live opera from Paris in 3D.
San Francisco, a sister city with Shanghai, is displaying its green technologies at the Pavilion of Future.
Visitors will be able to learn about the use of solar and wind energies in the city.
San Francisco's mayor, Gavin Newsom, said they were proud to be part of the World Expo, and the cooperation between the two cities will focus on green technologies over the next few years.
One of the most eye-catching parts of the exhibition are wax figures of local favorite Yao Ming, the NBA star, and United States President Barack Obama.
It would be a rare chance for people to take photos with both celebrities.--(6/19)
Californians open city office
The Bay Area Council, a business-sponsored advocacy organization for the San Francisco Bay Area, has opened its first overseas office in Shanghai, officials said yesterday. The office will promote bilateral trade and investment between the two regions, officials said.
The Bay Area includes Silicon Valley and four top universities. Similarly, Yangpu District's Knowledge and Innovative Community, where the Shanghai office is located, has more than 10 universities and research institutes and many startup enterprises surrounding it. --(6/18)
Milan has host of delights
The city of Milan, next host for the World Expo, started its "showcase week" at the Italy Pavilion yesterday.
The city's Head Councilor for Culture, Massimiliano Finazzer Flory, said the World Expo 2015 Milan would be "very different" from Shanghai's.
"The World Expo 2010 Shanghai is a great inspiration for the city of Milan, yet our plan is quite different," he said.
Flory said the master plan for Expo Milan, with the theme "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life," had been confirmed.
The site is just a few kilometers from the center of Milan and includes a large global construction in the form of a greenhouse.
In Milan in 2015, participants will be designated a space in the globe. Flory said all participants would be welcome to bring seeds from their hometowns to plant in the globe.
China has confirmed its participation in World Expo Milan - the first country to do so.
Flory was at the Expo site yesterday to open Milan Week, with the theme "Milan, Creative City."
The city has been Shanghai's sister city since 1979.
The week will be celebrated with a bumper display of arts, design, cuisine, fashion, technology and architecture.
A different Milanese chef will be featured every day until June 23 in a cooking show in the pavilion from 10:30-11:30am.
Staff members will pick two to three visitors in the pavilion before the show starts. They will get to taste the end results.
Three forums, "Testimonials in Creativity," will also be held in the pavilion.
They will feature arts, design and information technology innovations and be presented by Milanese experts.
A collaboration between the Piccolo Theater and the Shanghai Theater Academy for the classic drama "Servant of Two Masters" will be Milan Week's official curtain-closer.--(6/17)
Quest for harmony
The Republic of the Congo Pavilion celebrates its National Pavilion Day today.
The pavilion is built around the theme of "Natural Life in a Modern Setting."
Its exhibits aim to simulate a city neighboring the countryside and the sharing of its rich natural resources, unique biodiversity, valuable historic heritage and the achievements of modern development.
The aim of the exhibit is to show the wish for harmonious urban-rural interaction and the coexistence of man and nature. A train-shaped, multimedia installation is a metaphor for going from the past to the present and into the future.
A cargo ship-shaped exhibit symbolizes the country's open economy and displays a modernized Congo. The area will simulate a beach scene.
Another area presents the nation's achievements to date and its confidence in embracing the rest of the world.--(6/16)
Summer: It's official
Summer has formally arrived in Shang-hai.
The city's meteorological bureau said yesterday Shanghai had entered summer according to average temperatures recorded in the previous five consecutive days.
The bureau declares the start of summer once the average temperature climbs above 22 degrees Celsius for five straight days and considers the first of those five days the first day of summer.
Yesterday was the fifth day of the five consecutive above-22 degrees days, meaning Shanghai entered summer last Thursday.
The city's earliest recorded summer was last year, starting on May 6, and the latest was on July 4, 1911, according to bureau records.
More wet days are expected this week as plum rain season approaches.
Rain should become more frequent after Thursday, the bureau said.
The weather should be mainly rainy or overcast this week with temperatures ranging from 21 to 29 degrees.--(6/15)