China first hybrid bullet train on track for full operation

World Today

Photo: China News Service.

CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles completed initial tests for China’s first hybrid bullet train and the railway will conduct a trial run later this year.

The new bullet train will be divided into two types, and will be able to run on two or three power sources such as diesel, overheard electrical cables, or batteries. Further tests will take place on a ring railway before it’s put on a trial run on regular tracks in the latter half of this year.

The new hybrid trains will be introduced as a transport link for commuters traveling short distances between cities and from suburban areas. The hybrid train is more suited to a railway line that’s than 100 kilometers (62 miles) in length, and with stations that are no more than 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) apart, the railway said.

Faster trains coincide with China’s long-term targets on sustainable urbanization. In 2014, the State Council said 60 percent of the population will live in cities by 2020, and that all cities with a population of 200,000 or more to be linked to the railway network.

The train can reach speeds of up to 160-kilometers (100 miles) per hour, and a key characteristics is that is will be the first train to run on both electrified and non-electrified railway lines.

The train is also in line with plans for greater integration between Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei Province. Last year construction began on two new intercity lines in the region that includes a 160-kilometer (100 miles) track linking Beijing to Tangshan, and a line connecting the capital to Tianjin’s Binhai New District. Work on two more lines is due to begin at the end of this year.

The new hybrid trains will release fewer carbon emissions and are more efficient than previous models, CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles said.

Around the world, more cities are adding faster and more efficient railways. The U.K. government has been working with Japanese manufacturer Hitachi on a new generation of hybrid trains that will be launched in 2017, that has 40 percent reduced emissions.

Story by CCTV News