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It's one of the biggest countries in the world by landmass but it just got that little bit smaller. Last week China opened the world's lengthiest rail line offering a high speed service. The line will connect Beijing to Guangzhou in the south of the country and offer a journey which previously took around 24 hours in just eight hours. Not bad for covering almost 1500 miles.

This is the longest journey for the country's high speed system to date and like other routes trains will travel at over 180 mph on average. There has been much controversy surrounding the roll out of this high-tech network in the past with costs spiralling and accidents giving some cause for concern.

The first high speed rail route in China was opened in time for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and now the country has over 5000 miles high speed lines.

Plans for this latest section will eventually see it reach Hong Kong. The Chinese Government is keen to see the continued development of the programme as part of the modernisation of the country's infrastructure although journeys on board these super-fast trains isn't a cheap option for many of the country's population. Ticket prices can be double those of traditional trains.

Travelling at average speeds of 186mph opportunities for seeing the passing countryside are fleeting at best but here is a whistle-stop tour of the some of the world's other longest rail routes that might inspire you to take to the rails.

Russia to Vladivostok

Russia holds many of the records for the world's longest train journeys and the trip from Moscow to Vladivostok is an incredible 9259km. Taking almost a week to make the journey and with 67 stops it offers the opportunity to take in huge swathes of the Russian landscape.

Toronto to Vancouver

Changing continents now and over to Canada. The country is the second largest in the world by landmass so its unsurprising that there are some lengthy scenic routes to enjoy. Watching the landscape unfold on a train is one of the best ways to experience the beauty and wildlife the country has to offer. The trip from Toronto to Vancouver is almost 4,500km and 86 hours long.

Sydney to Perth

Australia is a popular destination for travellers and what better way to take in the sights than from the comfort and coolness of a train carriage.

From Sydney on the East coast to Perth on the West takes around 65 hours and covers over 4000km. Make sure you check your timetable though as it only runs twice per week.

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