The Chinese Ministry of Railways signed a contract with China CNR Corp for the supply of 100 CRH train sets to operate the 1,318km high-speed line between Beijing and Shanghai.
The order value for the trains, which will be able to travel at speeds of up to 350km/h, has been put at ¥39.2bn ($5.7bn).
The 400m-long trainsets will each accommodate 1,026 passengers and the first sets are expected to enter service in October 2010, ahead of the current target date for completion of the new line in 2011. The trains are expected to be tested at up to 400km/h before entering service.
Director of the ministry's Transport division, Zhang Shuguang said that the trains will be built using domestic technology developed by CNR without outside assistance.
Zhang also confirmed that the ministry expected to place orders for new trains totalling ¥500bn over the next four years, including around 1,000 high-speed trainsets.
The contract includes options for further builds of CRH trainsets to operate the Wuhan – Guangzhou and Wuhan – Shijiazhuang high-speed lines now under construction.
Tangshan Railway Vehicles, Chanchun Railway Vehicles and the China Academy of Railway Sciences have signed a joint venture agreement with Siemens for technical assistance and the supply of electrical equipment and bogies for the new trains.
Tangshan is assembling 300km/h CHR3 Velaro trainsets under a technology transfer agreement with Siemens.
By Daniel Garrun.