China to speed up bullet trains in September: state media

A Tianjin bound China Railways CRH3 high speed train departs the Beijing South station in Beijing, China.
A Tianjin bound China Railways CRH3 high speed train departs the Beijing South station in Beijing, China.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - China plans to raise the speed of its bullet trains back up to 350km per hour, state media reported on Thursday (July 27), six years after a deadly high-speed rail crash prompted authorities to slow trains across the country.

Trains on China's high-speed rail network are designed to travel up to 350km/h, but Beijing ordered speeds to be cut to between 250-300km/h in 2011 after over 30 people were killed in a train crash in eastern Zhejiang province.

The Beijing News said the government planned to implement the increased speeds between Beijing and Shanghai in September, which would cut travel time to 4.5 hours from up to 6 hours currently.

China's newest "Fuxing" bullet trains, which were unveiled in June and are capable of top speeds of 400km/h, will be used for that journey, it said.

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China is home to the world's longest high-speed rail network which competes heavily with domestic airlines.

Of China's 31 provinces and regions, 29 are served by high-speed rail with only the regions of Tibet and Ningxia in the northwest yet to be connected.