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Self-developed 'bullet' train to debut
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China's first self-designed and self-manufactured passenger train with a designed speed of 300 km per hour, equal to that of the famous Japanese bullet train, will roll off the production line by the end of this year, the manufacturer has announced.

The new high-speed trains, which can seat around 600 passengers, will run on the 115-km-long Beijing-Tianjin rail route before the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in August. The rail journey between the two cities will be reduced from the current 70 minutes to around 30 minutes.

Production of the high-speed train is well underway and the first train will debut at the end of the year, said a spokesman of the Sifang Locomotive and Rolling Stock Co., Ltd. based in Qingdao, a coastal city of east China's Shandong Province.

Currently, China's fastest domestic trains run at a service speed of up to 250 km per hour.

Sifang Locomotive, a subsidiary of China Southern Locomotive and Rolling Stock Industry (Group) Corporation, will deliver 10 such trains to the Ministry of Railways in the first half of next year, said the company.

China launched its sixth train speed boost on April 18 bringing the country more firmly into the era of high-speed train travel. Trains run on the Beijing-Harbin, Beijing-Shanghai and Beijing-Guangzhou rail routes at speed of up to 250 kilometers per hour.

A Eurostar train shattered the record for the quickest rail journey between Paris and London when it traveled at 300 km per hour on the UK speed track on Tuesday.

French national railway's TGV bullet trains, currently the world's fastest, travels at a service speed of 320 km per hour.

China's planned Shanghai-Hangzhou maglev railway will allow trains to run at 450 km per hour.

(Xinhua News Agency September 24, 2007)

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