China’s new bullet train, touted as world’s fastest, goes into service

Image copyright Hongqiao Image caption Passengers cheer the new train as it makes its debut. A 620 kph (376 mph) test train, made in China, has made its debut. Designed to connect the eastern…

China's new bullet train, touted as world's fastest, goes into service

Image copyright Hongqiao Image caption Passengers cheer the new train as it makes its debut.

A 620 kph (376 mph) test train, made in China, has made its debut.

Designed to connect the eastern cities of Zhengzhou and Nanjing and the capital Beijing, the train can reach speeds of up to 1,640 kph (1,000 mph).

It has seven carriages with tickets costing more than $500 (£381) but it has not yet been made available to the public.

The train will be a precursor to the third-generation high-speed line which will follow it and eventually take the train up to 9,500 km (6,850 miles) per hour.

That would put the vehicle able to whizz from Shanghai to Beijing in just over five hours.

Image copyright Xinhua Image caption The test train, which travels between Zhengzhou and Nanjing, is 238 metres long and 28.3 metres wide, says Xinhua

Image copyright Xinhua Image caption The Chinese government has pushed to ensure the tracks for the high-speed train project, here on the Shanghai-Beijing route, run on level ground

The new train which uses a hybrid diesel-electric locomotive also has room for more passengers. It has room for up to 312 passengers – 100 more than the existing train – and three extra cars.

The new prototype engine also features a 100m-high observation platform for passengers, which allows them to look out across the track.

Image copyright Xinhua Image caption On arrival at the Zhengzhou station, passengers will be issued with a smart card that allows them to swipe through a concourse to board the train.

Image copyright Xinhua Image caption An aerial view of the large observation platform

The track and the engine were designed and built by state-owned China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock Corporation (CSR).

After making the new prototype, the train’s engineers then will repeat the test run in Nanjing, the company said.

If they meet all safety criteria, the new train will become operational by 2021, according to Xinhua, China’s official news agency.

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