China’s latest generation bullet train, the Fuxing, will run on the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway starting from Sept. 21 at 350 km/h, China Railway Corporation (CRC) announced on Aug. 20.
The high-speed railway connecting Beijing and Shanghai is built to the world’s highest standards, while the Fuxing is designed to run at a top speed of 350 km/h safely, reliably, and comfortably, said Lu Dongfu, general manager of CRC.
In 6 years of operation, the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway has carried over 630 million passengers. Currently, an average of 400-plus trains run on the rail each day.
The speed increase will better meet transportation demand by cutting travel time between the two cities by half an hour from five to four and a half hours, said an official with CRC. The speed increase is also expected to boost efficiency for enterprises.
The Fuxing was designed and manufactured in China. The new bullet train model of China’s Electric Multiple Units (EMU) has completed 600,000 kilometers of tests before it was approved to run on the Beijing-Guangzhou and Beijing-Shanghai railways in February 2017.
China has the largest high-speed rail network in the world, with a total track length of 22,000 kilometers and one third of that distance was designed and constructed for bullet trains with a top speed of 350 km/h, said He Huawu of the China Academy of Engineering.
He said there is a process for China to consider whether to speed up its whole high-speed network, though such a move could pose a challenge to railway management, noting that financial and social aspects must be considered.
The Fuxing, for example, would see energy consumption increase 20 to 30 percent if the train increased its speed from 300 km/h to 350 km/h. But whether other railways are suitable for the speed increase depends on infrastructure, demand, and economic factors, He said.