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New 300-km-per-hour bullet train unveiled
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The first bullet train designed and manufactured in China with a speed of 300 kilometers per hour rolled off the production line on Saturday morning.

The train was the latest model in the country's China Railway High-speed (CRH) Series.

"This marks that China has joined an elite world club after Japan, France and Germany to become the fourth country capable of turning out such high speed trains," said Wang Yongping, Ministry of Railways spokesman.

Previously, China's fastest self-developed trains ran at a service speed of up to 250 km per hour. Those trains, which debuted on April 18, serve the Beijing-Harbin, Beijing-Shanghai and Beijing-Guangzhou routes.

The new train, by comparison, excelled in its air tightness, driving force and smoothness of traveling, according to Wang.

The streamlined train was made of aluminum alloy, weighing about seven tons.

"The train body was the lightest of its kind in the world," said Ma Yunshuang, vice director with the technical center of China Southern Locomotive and Rolling Stock Industry (Group) Corporation. "Such a design was for the sake of energy economization."

He noted the train's per capita power was 12.7 kilowatts, lower than other high-speed trains, which was normally about 15 kilowatts.

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

The trains with eight carriages could seat about 600 passengers. They were expected to run on the 115-km Beijing-Tianjin route starting from August before the Beijing Olympic Games. It would reduce the journey time from the current 80 minutes to around 30 minutes.

(Xinhua News Agency December 22, 2007)

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