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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Full Steam Ahead: The Next Generation of Bullet Trains is Here!

ChinaFull Steam Ahead: The Next Generation of Bullet Trains is Here!

China is working on the development of a faster bullet train, which will be called the CR450, according to a national political adviser. Zhao Hongwei, chief researcher of the China Academy of Railway Sciences, announced that this advanced model would soon be unveiled. With a top operating speed of 400 km/h and the potential to reach speeds of up to 450 km/h, the CR450 will be even faster than its predecessor.

Zhao also mentioned that the national railway network will be expanded to 165,000 km by the time the CR450 is in operation, with 50,000 km being high-speed lines. The development of a faster bullet train was outlined in the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25).

The China State Railway Group, the national railway operator, released general provisional technical specifications for the CR450 EMU in January of last year. “By the end of last year, we drew up technical specifications for 13 of the EMU’s subsystems, and also carried out early experiments,” Zhao said.

China has been a world leader in high-speed rail technology, with its current bullet trains running at a speed of 350 km/h. The addition of the CR450 will further cement China’s position as a pioneer in this field.

With the unveiling of the CR450, China is set to take high-speed rail technology to the next level. The development of this advanced bullet train is part of China’s efforts to modernize its transportation infrastructure and promote sustainable economic growth.

China is set to unveil an even faster bullet train known as the CR450, which will have a top operating speed of 400 kilometers per hour and the potential to reach speeds of up to 450 km/h. This was revealed by Zhao Hongwei, chief researcher of the China Academy of Railway Sciences and a member of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. She said that the more advanced model will soon be unveiled and will be an improvement over the current Fuxing or Rejuvenation bullet train.

Zhao, who oversaw the development of China’s first self-designed bullet train, pointed out that the challenges researchers are facing now are not the same as the ones they faced while developing the first generation of Fuxing trains. She noted that there is no reference from other countries to work from and as pioneers, they need to find the solutions needed to build a train capable of a speed of 400 km/h.

According to Zhao, the noise level of the train at that speed is capped at 3 decibels higher than the level on a train traveling at 350 km/h, which is as fast as current high-speed trains can run in China. She pointed out that it is challenging to lower the noise level on the new trains to ensure passenger comfort, but they are working on it.

Plans to develop the faster bullet train were outlined in the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25). In January last year, general provisional technical specifications for the CR450 EMU were released by China State Railway Group, the national railway operator. By the end of the year, technical specifications for 13 of the EMU’s subsystems had been drawn up, and early experiments had been carried out.

Zhao expressed confidence that the CR450 will be more advanced than its global peers once it makes its debut. Based on the specifications and requirements, the technical design of the train is currently being worked on, with the general design and schemes for the subsystems expected to be finalized next year. The train will be completed in the near future, she added.

In a recent speech, Zhao, a prominent figure in China’s transportation sector, highlighted the need for improving the standards system for railways. She emphasized that standards are not only important for national socioeconomic development but also a core element of industrial development. In this regard, she urged the need to promote international recognition of the system’s safety certification.

China’s railways have developed rapidly in recent years, and the country has created a standards system to ensure the quality and safety of its railway infrastructure. However, to promote high-quality development, Zhao believes that further improvements and strengthening of the system are necessary. She emphasized the importance of formulating relevant standards that are comprehensive and cover all fundamental infrastructure, including rail tracks, communication infrastructure, signals, and inspection technology.

Zhao believes that the standards system should not be limited to just bullet trains. Instead, a more comprehensive system should be developed that covers all aspects of railway infrastructure. This will ensure that the entire railway network operates smoothly, and any potential safety issues are addressed proactively.

The Belt and Road Initiative has brought Chinese railway equipment to many countries, and to sell trains to European countries, multiple certificates are required. Zhao pointed out that obtaining these certificates takes time, money, and effort, which affects the supply of railway equipment. Therefore, she stressed the need to promote international recognition of the safety certification system, which will help streamline the process of obtaining necessary certificates and ensure the timely supply of equipment.

Zhao’s speech highlights the importance of improving the standards system for railways and promoting international recognition of the safety certification system. This will not only ensure the safety and quality of China’s railway infrastructure but also facilitate the sale of Chinese railway equipment in other countries. The development of a comprehensive standards system that covers all aspects of railway infrastructure is crucial for achieving high-quality development in the transportation sector.

The need for multiple certifications can be a burden on companies. According to Zhao, if a company’s standards and certifications are recognized internationally, it will eliminate the need for multiple certifications. This recognition can also help companies operate more efficiently and reduce costs associated with certification processes.

China has been working to improve its system of railway standards. Recently, the International Union of Railways published two international standards for high-speed railway infrastructure design and power supply, which were largely developed by China. These standards demonstrate China’s contribution to promoting the internationalization of high-speed railway standards.

China’s railway system, particularly its high-speed railway network, has experienced rapid growth over the past 15 years. As of the end of last year, the network covered 155,000 km, including 42,000 km of high-speed lines, which account for more than two-thirds of the world’s high-speed lines. This significant progress has given China a vast amount of railway management experience and the most comprehensive technology in the world, according to China State Railway Group.

China’s efforts to improve its railway system have had positive effects on the country’s economy. The high-speed railway network has made it easier for people and goods to move around the country, promoting economic growth and development. It has also helped to reduce the cost of transportation and has improved China’s overall competitiveness in the global market.

In conclusion, China’s commitment to improving its railway system and promoting international standards has had significant benefits for the country. Its contribution to the development of international railway standards is a testament to China’s technological advancement and the country’s ability to make major breakthroughs in a short period. As a result, the recognition of China’s standards and certifications internationally can lead to increased efficiency and cost savings for companies.

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