You can now travel between Beijing and Shanghai in record time as China has launched a much-anticipated fleet of the fastest bullet trains in the world.
Today, seven pairs of the country’s new homemade Fuxing bullet trains went into operation on the Beijing-Shanghai HSR, traveling at speeds of up to 350 km/h. Previously, trains in China could only crawl along at a mere 300 km/h, making the 1,318-kilometer trip between Shanghai and the capital in an excruciating 4 hours and 49 minutes. Thanks to the Fuxing speed boost, you can now make that trip in 4 hours and 28 minutes.
This new generation of China-developed bullet trains was unveiled back in June. Named after one of Xi Jinping’s favorite catchphrases — “Rejuvenation” — the Fuxing trains have a top speed of 400 km/h, plus more leg room, free wi-fi and more power outlets. In the future, China plans to mass produce these suckers to replace the outdated Hexie (“Harmony”) models.
The Fuxing trains have already received rave reviews from riders who are especially impressed by how smoothly the train glides across the country. One passenger stood a variety of items on the window sill to demonstrate how they did not budge or topple over, even as the train was zooming along at 350 km/h.
China’s Hexie trains also used to run at 350 km/h; however, their max speed was capped at 300 km/h in 2011 following a train crash in Wenzhou which killed 40 people and resulted in a corruption probe that brought down some top officials in the transportation ministry.
While unveiling the Fuxing trains, China was quick to emphasize their safety. According to Xinhua, the bullet trains contain more than 2,500 sensors — 500 more than previous models — that simultaneously collect some 1,500 real-time indicators from all carriages. If an abnormality occurs in the cooling, braking or air-conditioning systems, then alarms are activated and the train can stop on its own.
However, it appears that China isn’t totally satisfied with its newest generation of high-speed trains and wants to go faster still. As one Chinese company researches maglev trains that can run at 600 km/h, another is looking into futuristic “flying trains” that could hit 4,000 km/h — this, of course, would also not be dangerous.
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