China Bullet Train

China's High Speed Trains

China Bullet Train is the fastest in the world. With the new line from Beijing to Shanghai, China now has more than 91,000 km of railway lines

China has been investing in its railway system since the communist party has risen into power in 1949. Yet, its investment has been somewhat slow until the early 1990′s, when it decided to take railway one step further than any other country in the world. Prior to 1950, there were only 21,800 km of railway lines. The railway network has since been expanded to 91,000 km In 2010 - more than four times what it was in 1950. Yet, it is not the length of the track that is turning China into the most powerful rail nation in the world -- it is the speed of the trains.

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Since the early 1990′s, China has been initiating the construction of its Bullet Train railway network. Today, China has the world’s longest HSR network with approximately 8,358 km of routes in service as of January 2011, including 2,197 km of rail lines with top speeds of 350 km/h. The Bullet trains have transported 600 million passengers since their introduction on April 18th, 2007, with average daily ridership of 237,000 in 2007, 349,000 in 2008, 492,000 in 2009, and 796,000 in 2010.

China Bullet Train

China bullet train network has the fastest trains in the world.
China’s Bullet Train rail lines consist of upgraded conventional rail lines, newly-built high-speed passenger designated lines (PDLs), and the world’s first high-speed commercial magnetic levitation (maglev) line. With generous funding from the Chinese government’s economic stimulus program that was issued after the economic crisis in 2008, 17,000 km of high-speed lines are now under construction. The entire HSR network will reach 13,073 km by the end of 2011 and 25,000 km by the end of 2015.

Bullet Train China

China is the first and only country to have commercial train service on conventional rail lines that can reach 350 km/h (217 mph). Notable examples of HSR lines include:

  • The Wuhan–Guangzhou High-Speed Railway, a passenger-dedicated trunk line opened in 2009, which reduced the 968 km journey between the largest cities in central and southern China to 3 hours. Bullet Trains reach top speeds of 350 km/h and average 310 km/h (190 mph) for the entire trip.
  • The Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Railway, an intercity express line opened in 2008 that shortened the 117 km commute between the two largest cities in northern China to 30 minutes. China’s Bullet Trains reach top speeds of 330 km/h and average 234 km/h.
  • The Shanghai Maglev Bullet Train, an airport rail link service opened in 2004 that travels 30 km in 7 minutes and 20 seconds, averaging 240 km and reaching top speed of 431 km/h.
  • China’s initial Bullet Trains were imported or built under technology transfer agreements with foreign train-makers including Siemens, Bombardier and Kawasaki Heavy Industries. The Beijing–Shanghai Bullet Train Railway, set to open in June 2011, will use the new CRH380 train sets, which can reach a top operational speed of 380 km/h (236 mph); The train will cut the 1,280 km travel time from ten hours to less than five hours!

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    About the Author

    Lior Paritzky is the Editor in Chief and Manager of Laowaiblog, an internet platform that provides opinion and views about social phenomena in modern China. Look for Lior on Twitter: Liorpari