Three lines linking Henan province with other cities started operation on Sunday, according to the country's top railway operator.
The operation of the 378-kilometer rail line linking Henan's Shangqiu and Anhui province's Hefei, as well as the 276-km section linking Zhengzhou and Fuyang in the two provinces, have greatly shortened travel time for people using the high-speed railways, said China State Railway Group.
With a designated speed of 350 kilometers per hour, it will only take eight hours from Anyang in Henan and 4.5 hours from Bozhou in Anhui to get to Shanghai, half the time compared with the normal-speed train, the company said.
The 389-km section of the Zhengzhou-Chongqing line, which linked Zhengzhou and Xiangyang in Hubei province, was also put into use on Sunday.
The high-speed railway network around Henan's capital city of Zhengzhou is expected to boost regional economic growth as it covers a logistics and consumption market with nearly 400 million consumers, the company said.
Many cities such as Pingdingshan in Henan province have also been integrated into the country's high-speed railway network thanks to the operation of the high-speed railway, it added.
According to the Development and Reform Commission in Pingdingshan, the city handles more than 1.5 million normal-speed train trips annually but still needs an additional 530,000 high-speed rail trips to meet fast-growing travel needs.
"Pingdingshan is not an isolated case. Although China has built a high-speed rail network that not many countries can rival, it still needs more balanced rail construction to increase accessibility to more of the country," said Zhao Jian, an economics professor of rail transportation at Beijing Jiaotong University.
The three lines, with a total mileage of more than 1,000 km, are part of continuing efforts to complete a high-speed network of eight east-west lines and eight north-south lines, the company said.
By the end of this year, the total mileage of China's railways in operation is expected to reach 139,000 km. Among the total, high-speed railways will rise to 35,000 km, up from 29,000 km at the end of 2018, according to the company.