China's first 16-carriage high-speed train.
China's first 16-carriage high-speed train rolled onto a test track on Sunday in the eastern harbor city of Qingdao. With a maximum speed of 250 km per hour, the train will serve Beijing-Qingdao Olympic commuters when it begins normal operations before the Summer Games in August, according to a Xinhua News Agency report.
With 15 first-and second-class carriages and a dining car, the train can carry more than 1,200 passengers, double the capacity of the eight-carriage trains that are used on the country's high-speed railway network.
The new train features several world-class technologies, including a lightweight aluminium alloy structure, fiber optic-linked control system and specially designed equipment for high speed operation, the report said.
China has conducted six railway speedups since 1997 in the hope of enlarging its capacity. Six trains that can travel at speeds of more than 300 km per hour will be put into service between Beijing and Tianjin before the Olympics.
The interior of the high-speed train.
(CRI June 30, 2008)