China-owned train maker CSR Corp has introduced a new experimental train in the eastern province of Shandong last weekend, the China Daily newspaper reported. According to the paper, the high-speed train uses plastic reinforced with magnesium alloy and carbon fiber to lessen its weight. It has a sleek design inspired by an ancient Chinese sword. No details were provided on when the train will be available for commercial use.
In less than 10 years, China has created from scratch the biggest high-speed rail system in the world. The country's bullet trains generally traveled at about 300 kilometers per hour. However, the government reduced the speeds after the collision accident of two high-speed trains made by CSR, killing more than 40 people. The incident also led the government to suspend new projects. Preliminary reports suggested that problems in signaling caused the crash, which generated strong public criticism of the government. However, official investigation results have yet to be released.
On another note, a new high-speed railway which links Shenzhen city on the border with Hong Kong to the capital of the southern province of Guangdong, Guangzhou, has been open for service since Monday, the official Xinhua news agency reported. China intends to expand the route to Hong Kong by 2015 in line with the planned Beijing-Hong Kong high-speed line, the agency said. These projects continue even with the country stating last week that it will slash spending on its railways in 2012. [source: DailyMail]