China tests super high-speed train
After a year of headline-grabbing incidents, train manufacturer says the safety of train operations is the number one priority.
Wed, Dec 28 2011 at 9:35 AM
FAST TRACK: CRH2, seen here in January 2011, is one of the high-speed train models in China. A newer model is designed to resemble a Chinese sword. (Photo: sanfanmedia.com/Flickr)
BEIJING - China launched a super-rapid test train over the weekend that is capable of traveling 500 kilometers (310 miles) per hour, state media said on Dec. 26, as the country moves ahead with its railway ambitions despite serious problems on its high-speed network.
The train, made by a subsidiary of CSR Corp Ltd, China's largest train maker, is designed to resemble an ancient Chinese sword, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
It "will provide useful reference for current high-speed railway operations," it quoted train expert Shen Zhiyun as saying.
But future Chinese trains will not necessarily run at such high speeds, CSR chairman Zhao Xiaogang told the Beijing Morning News.
"We aim to ensure the safety of train operations," he said.
China's railway industry has had a tough year, highlighted by a collision between two high-speed trains in July that killed at least 40 people. Construction of new high-speed trains in China has since been at a near-halt.
In February, the railways minister, Liu Zhijun, a key figure behind the boom in the sector, was dismissed over corruption charges. He has not yet been tried in court.