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China tests 311-mph train after deadly crash

China's new superfast train was inspired by ancient Chinese swords.


China has apparently tested a train with a top speed of 500 kilometers per hour (311 mph) despite lingering worries over the crash earlier this year of two high-speed trains that left about 40 dead.

Qingdao-based CSR Sifang, a subsidiary of train maker CSR, produced the six-car train partly out of carbon fiber-reinforced plastics, according to state media. The design was inspired by ancient Chinese swords.

The train, some 200 kph quicker than China's fastest trains, is experimental. It was based on CSR's CRH380A, which set a world train speed record at 486.1 kph (302 mph) last year.

The data from the test may be used for the expansion of China's rail network. The push is part of a national plan to build some 10,000 miles of high-speed rail linking large cities by 2020.

Xinhua News said the super-train has a maximum tractive force of 22,800 kilowatts, compared with 9,600 kilowatts for the CRH380 trains running on the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway, which opened this year.

China's cabinet has criticized the Railways Ministry for lax safety standards in the wake of the July accident, in which one high-speed train rammed another that was stranded on the track following a lightning strike. A cabinet report threatened prosecutions over the crash.

The ministry lowered the speed limit to 300 kph from 350 kph following the accident.