China to raise railway speed on April 18
Hu Yadong, vice-minister of railways, said Thursday that the sixth massive speed-up of China's railways will start from April 18, with a speed up to 200 km per hour and in some sections the speed can even be raised to 250 km per hour, the highest train speed for trains around the world at present, rather than the current 160 km per hour.
By then, the total mileage of high speed railways, which means trains traveling at the speed of 200 km per hour and above, will be increased to 6,003 kilometers. 846 kilometers of which will be served for trains running at the speed of 250 km per hour, which is considered as a complete breakthrough in the railway system.
Meanwhile, the total mileage of railways for 120 km per hour and above will reach 22,000 kilometers, up from the previous 16,000 kilometers.
The ministry will put 514 bullet trains on trunk lines this year. The first batch of 280 will come on line next week while others will be introduced on July 1 and October 1.
Routes using bullet-head trains will be identified with the letter D to separate them from other types of rail services. All bullet trains are equipped with soft seats but no sleepers.
China has implemented train speed accelerations five times since 1997. After the fifth speed boost plan, some passenger trains on trunk lines were able to run as fast as 200 km per hour.