Caixin
Jun 26, 2017 08:08 PM
BUSINESS & TECH

China Shows Off New Generation of High-Speed Train

China's new high-speed train
China's new high-speed train "Fuxing" enters Nanjing South Railway Station in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, on Monday. Photo: Visual China

China on Monday debuted its new generation of high-speed trains that feature greater power efficiency, smarter controls and more comforts for passengers.

The new trains also boast 84% of home-made standardized designs, which will gradually replace four incompatible types of bullet trains that are running on 12,000 kilometers (7,500 miles) of track across China. The compatibility problem stems from country’s earlier introduction of different technologies, including from Japan and the EU.

Railway authorities said they expect the newly designed trains to be a major force in China’s exports of high-speed train technology.

Designers have not been touting the speed of the Fuxing trains, which have a designated maximum speed of about 400 kph (248 mph), and cruise at an average speed of 300 kph — similar to existing bullet trains.

Instead, authorities emphasized the more passenger friendly design, such as Wi-Fi service, larger train cars, less noise and more legroom. A new air-conditioning system will also reduce the discomfort that passengers feel in their ears from the change in air pressure when trains pass each other or go through tunnels.

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Passengers take the first "Fuxing" train, the new generation of China's high-speed train, in Nanjing on Monday. The train features more space for passengers, wifi service and greater power efficiency. Photo: Visual China

The trains are also more power efficient. Better aerodynamic design reduces air resistance by 7.5% to 12.3%, designers told the People’s Daily, an official newspaper of the Communist Party.

The trains are also being called safer, as each train will be equipped with more than 2,500 sensors, which will monitor the operation status of various parts on the train, the designers said.

“The new standard trains will also be used in the Indonesia high-speed rail project, making Fuxing a major force of China’s high-speed rail technology exports, He Huawu, chief engineer of China Rail, told the People’s Daily.

China introduced high-speed rail technology in early 2000s from France, Germany, Japan and Canada, and has since been producing bullet trains that are not compatible with one another.

Some trains have different driving platforms; others have a different number of seats in each car. When a train car has a problem, the railway company may have problems finding the right kind of car to replace it, designers said.

Contact reporter Wu Gang (gangwu@caixin.com)

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