Bei­jing-Shang­hai train trips soon will take less time

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By WANG XIAODONG wangx­i­aodong@ chi­

Bul­let train trips be­tween Bei­jing and Shang­hai will get even faster in Septem­ber when the max­i­mum speed on the line will be raised to 350 kilo­me­ters per hour, six years af­ter it was re­duced to 300 km/h.

The travel time will be re­duced to about four and a half hours, State-owned China Rail­way Corp said on Thurs­day.

The 1,318-km jour­ney now takes from four hours and 49 min­utes to six hours, depend­ing on the num­ber of stops.

One of the main rea­sons the speed can be safely in­creased is the next-gen­er­a­tion bul­let train models — dubbed Fux­ing (Chi­nese for rejuvenation) — that were put into op­er­a­tion on the Bei­jingShang­hai high-speed line on June 25. Be­fore that, all Chi­nese bul­let trains were la­beled with the word Har­mony on their ex­te­rior.

The new models, us­ing Chi­nese rail­way stan­dards and tech­nolo­gies, are a big im­prove­ment over pre­vi­ous models in safety, com­fort and en­ergy con­ser­va­tion, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany.

Govern­ment reg­u­la­tors re­duced the max­i­mum speed of high-speed trains to around 300 km/h in Au­gust 2011 for safety rea­sons. Be­fore that, trains on some of the first high-speed lines in China, such as the Bei­jing-Tian­jin and Shang­hai-Hangzhou lines, ran at up to 350 km/h.

The Bei­jing-Shang­hai high­speed line, which opened in 2011, was built to the high­est stan­dards in the world, ac­cord­ing to China Rail­way Corp. Pas­sen­gers have taken more than 600 mil­lion trips on the line in the past six years.

The line has been in ser­vice for six years safely, and rail­way au­thor­i­ties have gained ad­e­quate op­er­at­ing and man­age­ment ex­pe­ri­ence for the speed up­grade, the com­pany said.

Af­ter the Bei­jing-Shang­hai line, other high-speed rail lines in China may switch to a max­i­mum speed of 350 km/h, Xin­hua News Agency re­ported.

“Restor­ing bul­let trains’ top speed to 350 km/h is a sign of the ma­tu­rity of China’s high­speed rail­way tech­nolo­gies,” Liu Xu, vice-pres­i­dent of the Chi­nese Academy of Engi­neer­ing, told Xin­hua.

Sun Yong­cai, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of CRRC, the largest sup­plier of rail tran­sit equip­ment in China, said the com­pany will keep track­ing and col­lect­ing data for the trains and con­duct re­search to en­sure their safety at the higher speed.

Rais­ing the top speed on the Bei­jing-Shang­hai line will in­crease its ef­fi­ciency and help ease mount­ing pres­sure from the in­creas­ing num­ber of pas­sen­gers on one of the busiest rail­ways in China, ac­cord­ing to China Rail­way Corp.

It will pro­mote re­gional in­te­gra­tion and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, in­crease China’s com­pet­i­tive­ness in high-speed rail tech­nolo­gies and con­trib­ute to China’s rail­way ex­ports, the com­pany said.

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