China relaunches world’s fastest train Fuxing or “rejuvenation” from next week
China relaunches world’s fastest train and is once again set to become the world’s fastest fleet of high-speed trains.
The top speed of the Fuxing or “rejuvenation” bullet trains was capped at 300km/h (186mph) in 2011 following two crashes that killed 40 people. From next week, some of the trains will once again be allowed to run at a higher speed of about 350 km/h.
The higher maximum speed should cut about an hour off the journey time between Beijing and Shanghai. By 21 September, seven of China’s bullet trains will be permitted to travel at the increased maximum speed.
The Beijing-Shanghai line will begin operating on 21 September and will shorten the nearly 820 mile journey by an hour, to four hours thirty minutes. Nearly 600 million people use this route each year, providing a reported $1 billion in profits . Other routes include Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, which have now begun operating.
To mark the return of the higher-speed service, the trains have been named “Fuxing” – Chinese for rejuvenation – in line with a national government slogan and development plan. All the trains have been fitted with an improved monitoring system that will slow and stop the trains automatically in the event of an emergency.
The nation’s rail operator is believed to be looking into ways to upgrade track to let the engines run even faster – perhaps at speeds approaching 400km/h. China is believed to have about 19,960km (12,400 miles) of high-speed rail tracks.
China has laid more than 12,400 miles of high-speed rail to date, with the intention of adding another 6,000 miles by 2020. According to the Associated Press, the country has spent $360 billion building the network of high-speed rail, creating the largest in the world.
China has the world’s longest railway network, 22,000 kilometers by the end of 2016, about 60 percent of the world’s total. Beijing-Shanghai railway line is China’s busiest route, used by 50,5000 passengers daily.
The 2011 crashes of the high-speed trains led to a state investigation into the railways ministry which uncovered widespread corruption. The probe meant many officials were charged with corruption and abuse of power. Two senior officials were given suspended death sentences.