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China leads the world in high-speed railway development

(People's Daily Online)    16:57, September 18, 2019


Thanks to the contributions made by numerous railway personnel along with the development of domestic technologies, high-speed railway in China is now leading the world.

Over the past 70 years, China's high-speed railway has developed fast, weaving a huge moving network, rewriting the space-time pattern of the whole Chinese society and providing Chinese wisdom to help the world.

Transformation for the blueprint of high-speed rail

One hundred years ago, under the auspices of Zhan Tianyou, China independently designed and built its first domestic railway – the Beijing-Zhangjiakou railway, which broke the foreign monopoly of Chinese railway construction and strengthened the backbone of the nation.

One hundred years later, the Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed railway, as the world's first intelligent high-speed railway, has become another "bright business card" of China's high-speed rail.

In 2016, China confirmed that the length of its railway network would reach 150,000 km by 2020, including 30,000 km of high-speed rail.

"The development of high-speed rail in China is the result of several generations of Chinese railway people pursuing their dreams together," said Sun Shuli, deputy general manager and chief engineer of China Railway Design Group Co., LTD.

In 2003, the Qinhuangdao-Shenyang passenger railway was put into operation, as the "experimental field" of China's high-speed railway construction. In 2005, the Beijing-Tianjin intercity railway started construction, becoming the first high-speed railway with a designed speed of 350 km/h in China. In 2011, the Beijing–Shanghai high-speed railway opened, as the longest rail of its kind in the world.

Lay the foundation for China's high-speed rail standards

All the links, processes and technologies involved in the project give full play to the wisdom, innovation and persistence of those who work in the industry. China has become one of the drafting countries of international ISO fastener standard with its technology ranking among the world's most advanced.

Zhao Hongwei is the chief researcher at the China Academy of Railway Sciences Corporation Limited. He led a team to study the railway network control system, the "brain" of the bullet train. Zhao and his colleagues found that the train has to travel 600,000 kilometers before it can run at the speed of 350 kilometers per hour.

After more than 20 years of painstaking research, China Railway Design Group Co., LTD. has applied laser radar surveying and mapping technology as well as remote sensing technology to surveying and investigation on a large scale, and independently developed design software, information technology and three-dimensional collaborative design technology, which not only improves work efficiency, but also greatly reduces the on-site labor intensity of technical personnel.

China has the highest testing speed in the world, the world's first high-speed train running through an alpine seasonal frozen soil region, and the high-speed train with the world's longest running mileage, crossing temperate and subtropical zones, several terrains and geologies and a large number of water systems.

The development of high-speed railway will boost regional economy

According to statistics, 2.98 billion passenger trips were made during the 40-day Spring Festival travel rush in 2019. Tickets sold all over the country in one year could circle the earth seven or eight times if they were placed in a line.

In recent years, the Beijing-Shanghai, Beijing-Guangzhou and Tianjin-Qinhuangdao lines have opened successively, and the Beijing-Shenyang high-speed railway is under construction.

In June 2019, the railway track for the Beijing-Zhangjiakou Railway was laid. When completed later this year, it will reduce the journey time from Beijing to Zhangjiakou to less than one hour.

World transport needs Chinese solutions

According to a report on China’s high-speed railway development released by the World Bank in 2019, China's high-speed railway mileage exceeds the rest of the world combined. China's high-speed railway fares are the lowest, and the construction costs are about two-thirds of those in other countries.

Data indicates that the United States leads the world in freight transportation, but suffers from poor passenger traffic. The EU, since 2000, has provided €23.7 billion for high-speed railway construction; however, due to the lack of a stable high-speed railway development strategy, construction faces many problems.

Under the guidance of the Belt and Road Initiative, China's railway has gone global to share the fruits of its construction and development with the rest of the world.

The first transportation infrastructure project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was officially launched in Lahore, Pakistan. For the project, Chinese enterprises employed more than 1,860 local employees, which has promoted employment in the local community and increased income.

The Moscow-Kazan high-speed railway serves as a major strategic project of China-Russia cooperation and the two countries have reached basic consensus on the use of Chinese technology and equipment.

China-Europe freight trains have formed an international freight train operation mechanism through multinational cooperation. By the end of 2018, China-Europe freight trains had connected 108 cities in 16 Eurasian countries.

Railway networks built by Chinese people are continuously extending along the Belt and Road, sharing the fruits of China's high-speed railway development with the world. China-Europe express trains have transported Chinese products to other countries, and China's circle of friends has expanded. 

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

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