CRH trains on the Zhengzhou to Shanghai route enters into service on Sept,10,2007.The traveling time from Zhengzhou to Shanghai is 5 hours and 17minutes faster on a CRH train.[Xinhua]
The latest China Railway High-speed (CRH) train with a cruising speed of more than 300 kilometers per hour will leave the assembly line by the end of this year, according to Monday's Beijing Morning Post.
Each CRH train has several electric-powered motorcars, compared to traditional trains that have one locomotive. Therefore, a CRH train can accelerate and decelerate faster than traditional trains. Currently, CRH trains can run at speeds of over 200km/h.
By taking CRH trains, passengers can significantly cut their travel times. For instance, a CRH train only takes 3 hours and 20 minutes from Beijing to Jinan, about one hour less than the fastest traditional train. The traveling time from Beijing to Qingdao is also 3 hours faster on a CRH train.
However, CRH train tickets cost more than normal trains. From Jinan to Beijing, passengers will have to shell out 152 to 182 yuan by taking CRH trains compared with 64 to 73 yuan for a hard seat on normal trains.
CRH trains started service on April 18 this year, marking the sixth speed boost made by the Ministry of Railways since 1997. Having CRH trains on the tracks will alleviate the countrys transport congestion.
Not only are the CRH trains designed to go faster, but there are also plans to improve the luggage, soft sleeper and dining carriages. These projects are on the agenda of the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010), according to Liu Zhijun, Minister of Railways on September 9.
The Beijing Morning Post adds that the Ministry of Railways will purchase domestically developed railway products to support the industry.
Work on the high-speed Beijing-Tianjin inter-city passenger railway and the Beijing Southern Railway Station is proceeding smoothly and on schedule, sources said.
The Beijing-Tianjin inter-city railway, with a designed speed of 300 kilometers per hour (kmph), will begin operations on August 1, 2008, the Ministry of Railway said during a four-day exhibition on modern railways in Beijing.
The first batch of bullet trains to run will be delivered on time, said Dirk Hoke, Siemens Transportation Systems Group president and Siemens Ltd China vice-president.
Siemens and its Chinese partner, Tangshan Locomotive Plant in Hebei Province, won a contract in 2005 to make 60 locomotives that can travel at 300 kmph.
"Five trains, two made in Germany and three in Tangshan, will be delivered before the tracks open. The first one made in Germany will be completed before the end of this year, and the first made-in-Tangshan will be ready at the beginning of next year," he said.
Siemens took part in the project by cooperating with two Chinese firms and providing signal, telecommunication and electricity supply systems for the high-speed trains", he said.
By next August, trains will be shuttling passengers between the two cities in just half an hour, 45 minutes less than at present. The 115-km railway will cost 12.3 billion yuan (US$1.63 billion).
The ministry said the Beijing Southern Railway Station, reportedly to be the biggest in Asia, with a floor area of 350,000 square meters, will be completed next May.
It will be a five-floor complex, with two floors above the ground and three below. Passengers can transfer between high-speed and ordinary trains, Beijing's two subway lines and road transport from the complex.
To be twice the size of Beijing Western Railway Station, it can accommodate 10,500 passengers waiting for trains at any given time. The daily maximum passenger flow is expected to reach 100,000.
Hi-speed trains to Shanghai on track
By Xin Dingding
(China Daily 09/10/2007 page3)
Updated: 2007-09-10 06:53
The long-awaited Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway is expected to begin construction soon, Minister of Railways Liu Zhijun said yesterday.
He made the announcement at a national conference on railway innovation, but did not specify a date.
With a cruising speed of 300 kph and a top speed of 350 kph, the 1,320 km-rail link will shorten travel time between the two cities from 13 hours to less than 5.
The project has been on the drawing board for a decade and was expected to begin last year and start operations in 2010, but was postponed until now. The minister didn't explain why.
The Beijing-Shanghai railway was initially estimated to cost 130 billion yuan ($17.2 billion), but insiders said the growing price of real estate and resettlement costs might increase the project to 170 billion yuan.
Liu said China plans to master the technological aspects of building and operating high-speed railways before 2010. It was one of the 10 goals set by the ministry for its 11th Five-Year period (2006-10).
Another aim is include developing 350 kph bullet trains and upgrading safety technologies, Liu said.
Once these aims are fulfilled, the ministry will be able to provide a fast, safe and comfortable travel experience on 7,000 km of new track that is due to be completed by 2010, running trains at speeds of up to 300 kph. Building 300 kph railways for Beijing-Tianjin, Wuhan-Guangzhou, and Zhengzhou-Xi'an are at the planning stage.
China owns the intellectual property rights to laying concrete-bed rail tracks, Liu said. On ordinary tracks 300 kph trains can kick up debris that is a danger to people.
Liu said though China's ability to build railway bridges and tunnels in mountainous areas is world class, technologies relating to 300 kph railways need improvement. More effort is needed, he said.
In the meantime the ministry would import advanced technologies from abroad, Liu said. "We aim at the world's top-notch technologies."
In April the ministry announced it had mastered the technologies to raise train speeds to 200 kph on about 12,000 km of existing rail lines.
China's Self-developed bullet Train To Debut By Year End
QINGDAO, Sept 24 (Bernama) -- China's first self-designed and self-manufactured passenger train with a designed speed of 300 km per hour, equal to that of the famous Japanese bullet train, will roll off the production line by the end of this year, the manufacturer has announced.
China's Xinhua news agency reported that the new high-speed trains, which can seat around 600 passengers, will run on the 115-km-long Beijing-Tianjin rail route before the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in August. The rail journey between the two cities will be reduced from the current 70 minutes to around 30 minutes.
Production of the high-speed train is well underway and the first train will debut at the end of the year, said a spokesman of the Sifang Locomotive and Rolling Stock Co., Ltd. based in Qingdao, a coastal city of east China's Shandong Province.
Currently, China's fastest domestic trains run at a service speed of up to 250 km per hour.
Sifang Locomotive, a subsidiary of China Southern Locomotive and Rolling Stock Industry (Group) Corporation, will deliver 10 such trains to the Ministry of Railways in the first half of next year, said the company.
China launched its sixth train speed boost on April 18 bringing the country more firmly into the era of high-speed train travel. Trains run on the Beijing-Harbin, Beijing-Shanghai and Beijing-Guangzhou rail routes at speed of up to 250 kilometers per hour.
A Eurostar train shattered the record for the quickest rail journey between Paris and London when it traveled at 300 km per hour on the UK speed track on Tuesday.
French national railway's TGV bullet trains, currently the world's fastest, travels at a service speed of 320 km per hour.
China's planned Shanghai-Hangzhou maglev railway will allow trains to run at 450 km per hour.
To Go Fast Is Glorious
Asia Sentinel 09 November 2007
Beijing says it will build its own high speed train, thank you. No foreigners need apply
When China announced in 1998 that it would build a high-speed train line between Beijing and Shanghai, railway companies and politicians in Japan, France and Germany licked their chops.
China would have neither the technology nor the capital for such an ambitious project, they thought, and so one of the three would get the deal, leaving a huge contract open for somebody to build.
A decade on and how wrong the foreigners proved to be. An announcement by the State Council on October 30 of a leading group to oversee construction left the foreign companies with only bit parts to play in the second biggest rail project in Chinas history, after the Qinghai-Lhasa line that opened on July 1, 2006.
Beijing has nearly all the capital and technology it needs. Foreign equity will be no more than 10 per cent of the stock of the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway Corporation, the entity that will build the line and will have a registered capital of 110 billion yuan. Bank loans and bond issues will raise another 110 billion yuan, according to press reports.
The numbers on the project are staggering, even in a country of superlatives. The latest estimate of the cost is around 220 billion yuan ($29.5 billion). The line will run for 1,318 kilometers through 20 tunnels, over 28 bridges and into 21 stations. It will require bridges over the Yellow and Yangtze rivers and will run parallel to the existing Beijing-Shanghai line, carrying only passengers and allowing the older line to devote itself exclusively to freight.
Running at a speed of 300 kilometers per hour, it will cut the journey time from the current 10 to five hours, on the busiest route in China, which accounts for 10.2 per cent of national railroad passenger volume. It will carry 80 million passengers a year after completion in 2010.
The numbers have the countrys biggest state institutions fighting for a stake, convinced that it will be a golden goose that will lay eggs for years to come. The fare will be 600-700 yuan, half the standard air fare.
Front-runners for major slices are the Bank of China, the Industrial and Commercial Bank, China Construction Bank, CITIC Securities and the National Social Security Fund. The countrys three biggest insurers, China Life Insurance, Ping An and Peoples Insurance also want stakes.
According to Chinese media, the only foreigners in the bidding are Panin Holdings of Indonesia and an unnamed private equity fund.
The biggest stakeholder will be the Ministry of Railways, which is likely to invest 40 billion yuan for a stake of 35 per cent. The local governments of the regions through which the line will pass Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Hebei, Shandong, Anhui and Jiangsu are likely to invest a total of 20 billion.
A spokesman for the ministry said that negotiations on the composition of the new rail consortium were still being worked out and the final allocation of shares had not been decided. He declined to give details.
Two issues are delaying agreement. One is the form of investment, with Anhui, for example, wanting its share to be in land, not money. The other is the form of compensation for those who occupy the 4,470 hectares of land through which the line will run. Since it is the most prosperous land in China, the compensation will be substantial, up to 23 billion yuan.
In this story, the ministry is the big winner. For nearly 10 years, it has resisted pressure from other ministries to start work on the line using a foreign system, the Japanese Shinkansen, Frances Train à Grande Vitesse (TGV) or the German InterCity Express. It held off by insisting that it had the technology to build a comparable line, the foreign models were too expensive and such a strategic project should not be given to a foreign firm.
It bolstered its arguments by rapidly improving the speed and standards of domestic trains on major routes.
For their part, backed by their respective governments, the Japanese, French and Germany companies invested time, money and manpower in lobbying for the tantalizing line, which would have been the biggest and most prestigious foreign project for any of them, if they had won.
Because of historical antagonisms, Shinkansens chance of victory was always small and disappeared when former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui chose it in 1999 for the Taipei-Kaohsiung route. Costing US$15 billion for a 336-km route, it opened on January 7, 2007. [Mod: One comment says it was Jan. 5]
Initially, the Ministry of Railways also said that it would use only domestic technology but, in May 2006, invited foreign companies to bid. Alstom, Siemens and Mitsubishi-Kawasaki are considering bids, especially for the rolling stock.
To raise funds for its stake in the umbrella company, the Ministry of Railways has applied to the regulator for permission to list A shares in its subsidiary, China Railway Company, followed by an issue of H shares. It aims to raise US$2 billion in Shanghai and US$1.8 billion in Hong Kong.
In the current bull market, it should have no trouble raising the money, especially as there are only two railway companies listed on the stock market, one carrying coal and the other passengers from Guangzhou to Shenzhen.
In the current five-year plan, Beijing has promised to invest 1.25 trillion yuan in train lines and equipment and 250 billion yuan for locomotives and rolling stock. By the end of 2010, the ministry aims to have laid an additional 17,000 kilometers of track half as much as in all of Germany to create a national network of more than 90,000 kilometers.
In such an ambitious plan, how could the train on Chinas premier route be carrying a foreign flag?
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