China raises bullet train speed to 350km per hour: A deadly crash had forced it to slow down
The speed limit had been reduced to 300kmph from 350kmph after 40 people died in a high-speed train crash near Wenzhou in July 2011.Updated: Sep 21, 2017 13:29 IST
China on Thursday increased the maximum speed of bullet trains on the Beijing-Shanghai line to 350 kilometres (217 miles) per hour, six years after a fatal accident led to a speed cap.
The speed limit had been reduced to 300kmph from 350kmph after 40 people died in a high-speed train crash near Wenzhou in July 2011.
The acceleration cuts the 1,318-kilometre (819-mile) Beijing-Shanghai journey to 4 hours and 28 minutes, saving passengers nearly an hour.
Starting on Thursday, a total of 14 trains were running between Beijing and Shanghai at the higher speed daily, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
“These trains are so popular that the tickets for today already sold out a week ago,” Xinhua cited Huang Xin, an official with the China Railway Corporation, as saying.
The connection between the two metropolises is one of the country’s busiest, carrying more than 100 million passengers a year.
China’s high-speed rail network is the largest in the world, and seen by Beijing as a symbol of the country’s advance.
But the expansion -- which has cost hundreds of billions of dollars -- has seen a series of scandals and widespread allegations of corruption, with accusations that safety has been compromised for speed.
In 2013, former railway minister Liu Zhijun was given a suspended death sentence for taking 64.6 million yuan ($10.6 million) in bribes. The sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment.
India and Japan launched a project to build India’s first bullet train network and unveiled an ambitious connectivity plan between Asia and Africa, almost immediately drawing concerns from their common rival China.
The two leaders participated in the ground-breaking ceremony for the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project that is set to be completed in 2022. Slated to cost Rs 1,10,000 crore, trains on this network will run at peak speeds of 350 k/hr.
With HTC inputs
First Published: Sep 21, 2017 13:28 IST