China stated a Chinese passenger train reached a record speed of 486km/h during a test run of a yet-to-be-opened link between Beijing and Shanghai (AP/Xinhua/Bloomberg/China Daily, 03-Dec-2010). It was the fastest speed recorded by an unmodified conventional commercial train. The line is due to open in 2012 and will halve the current travel time between Beijing and Shanghai to five hours. The project cost USD32.5 billion and is part of a government effort to link many of China's cities by high-speed rail and reduce overcrowding on heavily used lines. China has the world's longest high-speed rail network, and it plans to cover 13,000km by 2012 and 16,000km by 2020. The country will spend around CNY2 trillion (USD300 billion) on the high-speed network expansion. Separately, it has been reported that China is expected to sign cooperation documents with other countries that are interested in China's railway progress during the upcoming Seventh World Congress on High-Speed Rail in Beijing this week (China Daily, 04-Dec-2010). It has been reported that orders could come from the US, specifically for the construction of high-speed rail lines in California and Florida. Deals are also expected with Turkey, Sweden, Germany, Bulgaria, Canada, Slovenia and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
6-Dec-2010 10:10 AM