Full speed ahead for the Fuxing
China’s new-generation high-speed bullet train, the Fuxing, was put into operation yesterday on two lines connecting the major cities in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.
The service marks a key step in integrated transport services within the region as the government seeks coordinated economic development between the three areas.
The Fuxing high-speed trains will make 39 one-way trips between Beijing and Tianjin and six one-way trips between Beijing and Xingtai, Hebei each day.
The trains will stop at 10 cities in the region, including Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei’s Baoding, Xingtai and Shijiazhuang, the provincial capital.
The new trains will account for 18 percent of the total services on the Beijing-Tianjin line, China’s first high-speed line that went into operation in August 2008. Trains on the line have carried more than 200 million passengers.
The journey between Beijing and Tianjin is short and railway authorities have provided discounts for commuters, said Wang Lunan, a train attendant.
Song Xin, president of a startup incubator in Tianjin Binhai New Area, said his company is located near the high-speed railway station and he makes two to three round trips between Beijing and Tianjin a week.
Fuxing is Chinese for rejuvenation, and the trains are a substantial upgrade on the Hexie, or harmony, trains. Designed and manufactured in China, the Fuxing is more spacious and energy-efficient, with a longer service life and better reliability.
After 600,000 kilometers of performance tests, the new train has a designed service life of 30 years, 50 percent longer than its predecessor, said Yu Hongliang, a mechanic with the Beijing Railway Bureau.
It is also more modern, with power outlets, USB ports and free Wi-Fi.
Compared with the older model, its power consumption per 100km is 17 percent less when running at 350kph, Yu said.
The train also has a monitoring system that automatically slows the train in an emergency or abnormal conditions.
In June, the new high-speed trains ran for the first time on the Shanghai-Beijing line, China’s busiest route used by more than half a million passengers a day.
On July 27, China used the new trains in testing to restore the maximum speed of Shanghai-Beijing high-speed trains to 350kph, six years after it was reduced to 300kph.
The Fuxing train will run at a speed of 350kph between Shanghai and Beijing from September 21, China Railway Corp said.
China has the world’s longest high-speed rail network, 22,000km at the end of last year, or about 60 percent of the world’s total.
About a third of China’s high-speed railways were designed to run at 350kph.