Shanghai subway Line No. 2: airport-to-airport

As of a few months ago, Shanghai has what may be the world's longest subway line, connecting the Pudong Airport (some 40 km east of the city) with the Hongqiao Airport (on the far western edge of the city, some 12+ km west of downtown). According to this trip report, one can actually make it from the arrivals gate at Pudong Airport to the check-in area in Hongqiao's new Terminal Two in 1 hour 40 minutes. (The actual subway train travel time is
said to be about 90 minutes.)
Presumably one can get from Pudong to the new Hongqiao Train Station within pretty much the same time.

The subway fare is said to be just 8 yuan (a bit over US$1), which is a remarkably good deal for this kind of distance.

This all is great of course, but the Hongqiao connection also contrasts the relative speeds of the city subway and the new intercity train: if you have entered China via the Pudong Airport (which is one of the country's top international airports) and want to go to Nanjing, it would take you 1.5 hours to make 60 km to Hongqiao, and then just 1 hr 15 min if you take the fastest train from Hongqiao to Nanjing (300 km away).

Of course, the Pudong airport is also served by the world's fastest train - the famous Shanghai Maglev, which would allow one to cut the actual time on the train by about half an hour, at the cost of 50 yuan. But taking into account the extra transfer(s) involved, the overall time saving may be pretty minimal.


Wuhan flooding

Watched news reports from Wuhan. On the promenade in Wuchang, the water level is about level with the pavement of the riverside promenade, and in places a bit above yet. (In a normal summer, the water is a few meters below, and people walk down the steps to swim in the Yangtze.) But, at least if the Central Television is to be believed, nothing as catastrophic as in 1954. The Three Gorges Dam, Gezhouba and Danjiakou Dams are said to be buffering the flood.

Rails to Khorgos

On July 1, 2010, China Railways started passenger service from to Yining (a.k.a. Ghulja, Gulja, Kuldja, Yili, etc.), on the railway that was completed a few month previously and that runs all the way to Khorgos on the Kazakh border. Now it takes less than 12 hours from Urumqi to Yining on an overnight train.

To get to Yining, they had to build a 13.6 km tunnel across the Borokhoro Mountains (a range of Tianshan).
Kazakhstan wants to extend the railway on their side, from Khorgos to Almaty. Much easier terrain on their side of the border... but let's see when they actually finish.

Yining, of course, is the same Kulja, or Ili, that was the capital of the Manchu governors of Xinjiang, and and which was occupied by the Russians during the Dungan Rebellion in the 1860s-1870s.