China: Railway Ministry Dismisses Fraudulent Claims on Train Speed

A senior official from the Ministry of Railways (MOR) on Monday dismissed an allegation by a former MOR official that the ministry had exaggerated how fast the country's high-speed trains could run.

"The claims of the former MOR official are groundless," said the ministry's chief engineer He Huawu, adding that China's high-speed trains are "fast, comfortable and safe."

He made the comment in reply to a claim made by former MOR deputy chief engineer Zhou Yimin, who said in an article published by the financial magazine Caijing last week that the MOR's claims that its high-speed trains could run at 350 km per hour were "fraudulent."

MOR officials have made repeated clarifications on the safety of the nation's high-speed railway system ahead of the commercial operation of the landmark Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail, which is due on June 30.

The 1,318-km rail, which starts trial operations on May 11, is expected to boost the passenger transportation capability with 97,000 people every day traveling between the two metropolises.

He said the high-speed trains with the maximum speeds at 350 kmph and 380 kmph were developed independently by China through the re-innovation based on the assimilation of imported technologies of trains running at speeds between 200 kmph and 250 kmph.

"Substantial laboratory data shows the safety of China's high-speed rails is fully guaranteed," he said.

He said high-speed trains running along the Beijing-Tianjin line and the Shanghai-Nanjing line would continue to gallop at a speed of 350 kmph.

Last month, an inspection team consisting of 30 noted Chinese engineering academicians and experts gave the green light for the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail line to open.

The engineering inspection team traveled in a CRH380 train along the high-speed rail line and examined the systems of communication signals, tractive power supply, and operation control, as well as energy-saving and environmental protection measures.

All the tested indicators showed the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail line has met the operational requirements, according to a report by the engineering assessment team.

China will spend 2.8 trillion yuan on expanding its railways over the next five years, which will boost the railway network's length to a total of 120,000 kilometers.

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