China tests high speed snow train capable of running at near to 220mph

by William ASTON on October 10, 2012

A high-speed railway capable of running at almost 220mph in temperatures as low as -40C has started its trial run in China, prior to an eventual all-out launch scheduled for the end of this year.

Widely-believed to be world’s only train to be able to perform in frozen conditions, the vehicle will run on the new line linking the northeastern port city of Dalian to Harbin, the latter of which is usually blanketed by snow over most of the winter. These new trains will slash the journey time along the 570-mile line down to three-and-a-half hours from nine.

Chinese authorities have commented that constructing the railroad was a challenge and making it suitable for -40C conditions in winter and temperatures that hit 40C in the summer wasn’t always a straightforward process. Zhang Xize, the railways’ chief executive, spoke to the China Daily and explained how cold areas of nearby Japan and Germany were researched and water or electricity supply projects located in frigid areas were learned from. He added that ice may disrupt power supplies and the signals system but has guaranteed on numerous occasions that every safety measure possible was taken.

In July last year, a pair of  high-speed trains crashed on the outskirts of Wenzhou after one of the two lost power. At least 40 people were killed and nearly 200 were injured before China immediately scaled back the amount of high-speed rail projects it had planned.

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