China ready to raise train speed to 200km/h next April

Updated: 2006-11-17 20:01

China is ready to raise national train speeds from the current 160 km per hour to 200 km per hour, said an official with the Ministry of Railways Friday.

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The change will come into effect next April.

An 18-day traction test has been completed and conditions are ripe for the speed hike, the sixth in nine years, said Hu Yadong, vice minister of railways at the press conference.

Some sections of the Beijing-Harbin line, the Beijing-Shanghai line, the Beijing-Guangzhou line and the Ji'nan-Qingdao line will be able to run trains at 250 km per hour, said Hu.

The ministry will also deploy more passenger trains on the Qinghai-Tibet route, he said.

Four hundred and eighty home-made locomotives will be used in 17 provinces and municipalities by the end of 2007, according to the ministry.

China raised its railway speed for the first time in 1997. The fifth speed increase, which came into effect on April 18, 2004, helped increase the country's passenger and freight transport capacity by 18.5 percent and 15 percent respectively over the past two years.

The sixth acceleration is expected to increase passenger transport capacity by 18 percent and freight transport capacity 12 percent, said the vice minister.

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