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China to raise Beijing-Shanghai bullet train speed to 350 km an hour

By Sun Wenyu (People's Daily Online)    16:36, July 19, 2017
China to raise Beijing-Shanghai bullet train speed to 350 km an hour

China plans to raise the speed of bullet trains running between Beijing and Shanghai to 350 km an hour by next October, Chinese media outlet, Caixin, reported.

China Railway (CR), the State-owned enterprise under the management of the central government has verified the feasibility of the speed upgrade and is preparing trials with relevant departments. However, the company refused to provide further information.

The operating time of train G1, the fastest on Beijing-Shanghai High-speed Railway, will be shortened by about 49 minutes after the speed increase. The speed of other trains will also be shortened by about 40 to 50 minutes. Commuting time between the two mega cities will be slashed to 5 hours.

According to a worker with China Railway Signal & Communication Corporation Limited, the speed on this section of high-speed railway has been maintained at 300 km an hour since the start of operations. He said it calls for further examination if the signals can stand higher speed, given that signal debugging is a huge task.

Since July 1, 2011, Chinese high-speed rail started full-scale speed reduction over safety concerns, except for the section between Beijing and Tianjin.

However, a bullet train crashed just 23 days after the speed reduction, resulting in the death of 40 people. Though it was later found out that the accident had no link to speed, China’s Ministry of Railway still decided to reduce speed on all tracks across the country.

Chief CR engineer, He Wuhua, told Caixin that the increase in speed to 350 km per hour will raise operation costs, creating a number of problems. Therefore, whether and when to speed up trains calls for cautious and thorough verification.

It was learnt that the bullet train covered Beijing-Shanghai in 4 hours, 12 minutes during the test run.

A source close to CR said speed increase on other sections of the country’s high-speed rail networks will also be considered after the pioneer section. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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