The Chinese Ministry of Railways is planning to buy 1,000 high-speed trains within the next few years as part of its plans to create the world’s largest high-speed rail network.

As part of the plan, German manufacturer Siemens has been awarded a $1bn contract to build the first 100 trains for the line between Bejing and Shanghai.

According to Siemens, its Velaro train has a top speed of 218mph (350.84km/h) and a typical train will have 16 cars and carry more than 1,000 passengers.

Siemens also claims that with a total length of more than 1,300ft (396.24m), the new trains will be the world’s longest single high-speed units in use.

According to the Research Report on the Investment in Chinese Railway Transport Industry, 2009, China plans to build the 40,000km-long high-speed rail network costing $730bn by 2012.