China / China

Sleek new bullet trains begin operating

By Zhao Xinying (China Daily Europe) Updated: 2017-07-02 13:26

China's new bullet trains, with the name Fuxing - meaning rejuvenation - emblazoned on the outside, were officially launched on the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway line on June 26.

A CR400AF model departed from Beijing South Railway Station at 11:05 am and headed to Shanghai, as a CR400BF model left Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station for Beijing.

The new models typically travel at speeds of around 350 kilometers per hour but are capable of reaching 400 km/h.

 Sleek new bullet trains begin operating

China's new bullet train model is launched on the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail line at Beijing South Railway Station on June 26. Zou Hong / China Daily

It took the first train from Beijing about 5 hours and 45 minutes to reach Shanghai. On the way, it stopped 10 times, including at stations in Jinan, Shandong province, and Tianjin.

The line was chosen for the new trains because it has been one of China's busiest, averaging about 505,000 passenger trips daily, according to China Railway Corp, the State-owned rail operator that led the design of the new trains.

Liang Zhaoyu, spokesman for the company, says all the tickets for the first run from Beijing were sold out on June 26. The price was the same as for the existing high-speed routes between the two cities.

He says two pairs of the new high-speed trains were to run between Beijing and Shanghai until the end of June. Starting July 1, four pairs of the trains will operate between the two stations.

The height of the new models is 4.05 meters - the same height as the existing bullet trains - while power consumption has been reduced by 17 percent, says Lu Yang, chief researcher at the China Academy of Railway Sciences.

He says the new models have a powerful safety monitoring system with more than 2,500 sensors - 500 more than on its predecessors.

"The sensors are like eyes, monitoring the state of the train - whether it's the operational situation, the temperature of the bearings, the brake system or the compartment environment - at all times to ensure safety," he says.

If something goes wrong, the monitoring system will sound an alarm automatically and could take automatic measures, such as reducing the speed or even stopping the train, Lu says.

Apart from larger, more comfortable spaces for passengers, the new models have some other passenger-friendly features, such as better placed phone chargers.

Richard Herzfelder, an agriculture specialist from the United States who has worked in China for more than 10 years and often travels on high-speed trains, says he found it more convenient to use chargers.

Previously, charging stations for phones or computers were often found below the seats. On the new bullet trains, they are located near the armrests. Herzfelder says he appreciates the change, as he no longer needs to stoop to charge his electronic devices.

Hot Topics