China steps up the gas on bul­let trains

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

BEI­JING: China be­gan tests yes­ter­day to re­store the max­i­mum speed of bul­let trains on the Bei­jing-Shang­hai high-speed rail­way to 350km/h, six years after it was re­duced to 300km/h.

Depart­ing Bei­jing South Rail­way sta­tion at 8.38am, a Fux­ing bul­let train will com­plete the round-trip from Bei­jing to Xuzhou, some 700km away, within about four hours.

The speed hike will cut the Bei­jing-Shang­hai jour­ney to about 4½ hours, about half-an-hour faster than the cur­rent min­i­mum be­tween the two cities. If suc­cess­ful, the test will pave the way for a new sched­ule on the Bei­jingShang­hai rail­way start­ing in Septem­ber.

Con­nect­ing the Chi­nese cap­i­tal with its ma­jor fi­nan­cial and trade hub, the Bei­jingShang­hai high-speed rail­way line is one of the busiest in the coun­try, car­ry­ing more than 100 mil­lion pas­sen­gers a year.

China has the world’s long­est high-speed rail net­work, which was 22 000km in length at the end of last year, about 60% of the world’s to­tal. Chi­nese bul­let trains have been bought by coun­tries such as In­done­sia, Rus­sia and In­dia.

Pic­ture: AP

FAST RIDE: China’s planned speed hike on its bul­let trains will mean it will take 4½ hours to travel from Bei­jing to Shang­hai.

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