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