China’s Ministry of Railways has awarded a €500m contract to German firm Knorr-Bremse to supply subsystems for its new CRH3 high-speed trains.

The company will equip a total of 2,720 trains with braking and door systems, out of which 1,280 will also be fitted with air-conditioning systems.

Supply is scheduled to begin in the final quarter of 2009 and run until 2012.

The CRH3 trains, being built by Chinese manufacturers Tangshan Locomotive & Rolling Stock Works and Changchun Railway Vehicles, will operate at speeds of up to 350kmph mainly between Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

The order marks the biggest-ever contract for the German firm.