Wednesday, August 17, 2011

China Slows High-Speed Trains

China has decided to revise maximum travel speeds for trains on its high-speed rail network, citing safety concerns. According to the new scheme, trains with a maximum design speed between 200 to 350 kilometers per hour will have travel speeds slowed by 40 to 50 kph during operation.
Sheng Guangzu, Minister of Railways said in an interview with the official Xinhua News Agency on August 10 that ticket rates for high-speed rail will also be revised accordingly.

On the same day, the State Council, China's cabinet, instructed an overall inspection of high-speed railways, including projects still under construction. Newly built high-speed railway projects will operate trains at lower speeds and renewed safety appraisals will be required for projects that have yet to begin construction, according to decisions made at a State Council conference chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao.

Two bullet trains collided last month in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, killing at least 40 people.
A high-speed rail link between Beijing and Shanghai was opened in late June. The 1,318-kilometer line, China's longest, experienced two major arrival delays due to power outages prior to the Wenzhou accident, apart from a number of train-related malfunctions.

China began its leapfrog high-speed railway network construction in 2004. The marquee infrastructure project has come under increasing public scrutiny following a corruption scandal that toppled former rail minister Liu Zhijin in February.

No comments: