China's High Speed Rail

China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock (CSR) has unveiled a sword-shaped train that can reach speeds of 500km/hr.

The six carriage train has been designed and produced by CSR’s Sifang Locomotive & Rolling Stock, a subsidiary based in the coastal city of Qingdao in Shandong province.

CSR’s chief technical expert Ma Yunshuang said, "This is a cutting-edge product independently and comprehensively innovated by CSR, and adopting the international technical standard system.

"Its launch has not only led to the emergence of a new technical platform for faster bullet trains in China, but also laid a solid foundation for the globalisation of bullet trains," Yunshuang continued.

The test train is based on revisions to the CRH 380A in collaboration with research institutes such as the Institute of Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China Academy of Railway Sciences, Southwest Jiaotong University, Beijing Jiaotong University and Tongji University.

The head of the locomotive will be inspired by a Chinese sword with a wedge structure, while the tail will be of rocket shape helping to decrease resistance and drag force.

The streamlined locomotive uses many high-tech materials including carbon fibre, magnesium alloy, sound insulation materials, ethernet ring network control and wind resistance brake.

The light weight of the train helps increase its rigidity by 22.7%, while bogies solve complex coupling relations among multiple systems due to the increase of speed through cyclic and optimal matching of system parameters, the company said.

The traction system in the locomotive has been newly developed, which has a maximum drawing power of 22,800KW, compared with 9,600KW for the CRH380 trains now in operation on the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway.

The locomotive development project is supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Railways through its Eleventh Five-Year National Technological Support Programme and the National 973 Programme.

CSR is planning to conduct comprehensive tests at the national engineering laboratory of bullet trains, following which it will be put into operation.

The company introduced the CRH380A in December 2010. It reaches a speed of 486km/hr and is now being used on the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway.

Caption: The CSR Sifang high-speed train is based on modifications to CSR’s CRH 380A high-speed train and can reach a speed of 500km/hr.