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Expert explains why China's high-speed trains do not reach top speed of 350 km/h

By Liang Jun (People's Daily Online)    13:45, March 07, 2016

Huang Qiang, CPPCC member and also chief researcher of China Academy of Railway Sciences.

With the improvement of the China's high-speed rail network, more and more people choose high-speed railways for travel. When answering the question of whether high-speed trains will ever travel at the initially designed speed of 350 kilometers per hour, an expert said that travel speeds will not change for the time being.

Considering various factors including cost, equipment replacement and maintenance cycles, the trains will not change their travel speed, said Huang Qiang, CPPCC member and chief researcher at the China Academy of Railway Sciences, during the ongoing Two Sessions meetings.

Technically, the trains can run at a maximum speed of 350 kilometers per hour, but when they do so, energy consumption, friction and wear, and the frequency of consumable part replacement all increase.

Furthermore, the faster speed means a corresponding hike in operating costs, which would bring higher fares to consumers, Huang explained. 

Huang also said that resolving friction and wear remains a globally difficult problem. 

(File Photo)

When it comes to delays and setbacks with the Chinese high-speed rail being sold and popularized outside of China, Huang doesn't believe it is a technical issue. 

China's high-speed railways are very competitive in price and hardiness, but when going outside of China, we must consider conditions in foreign countries, such as political factors, laws and regulations, business environment and building environment.” 

Indeed, spreading China’s high-speed rail system doesn't just mean building railway lines, laying tracks and selling trains, Huang said. For example, in Saudi Arabia, the issue of sandstorms needs to be addressed, while in Russia it is necessary to consider freezing temperatures, both of which require a lot of technical research. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Editor:Liang Jun,Bianji)

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