China has completed a test run on the 921km high-speed rail line linking the country's three north-eastern provinces.
A test train was operated at 300km/h on the new Harbin-Dalian high-speed rail line that links Dalian, a port city in the Liaoning province and Harbin, capital of the Heilongjiang province. It completed the journey in around four hours, while a standard train takes nine hours to cover the same distance.
According to the engineers of the railway project, the new high-speed line can operate in extreme weather conditions, withstanding temperatures as low as -39.9 degrees Celsius in winter and as high as 40 degrees Celsius in summer.
The railway line is equipped with technology to remove snow and ice from the line and to protect its power supply during sub-zero conditions, as the low temperatures of north-east China could threaten power supply and signalling systems.
China High-Speed Railway TECH. Application Centre director Gao Baijiang said: "We used new cold-resistant materials and heat-tracing materials. They are energy efficient and keep the temperature in the train consistent and comfortable."
Construction of the new rail line started in 2008 and trains should be able to run at a top speed of 350km/h following the safety tests.
The eight-compartment CRH380B train model, built by China Northern Railways, was used for the tests.
Scheduled to be operational by the end of 2012, the new line will have 24 stations and link ten cities, including the capitals of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces.