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Minister cites potential to replace ageing diesel-electric trains
China on Saturday showed off a new model of train that it hopes will replace the current electric diesel-electric fleet of trains.
Huang Changping, a vice minister in charge of rail, said the new train could accelerate by nearly a third, with speeds exceeding the current 900km/h.
“The main aim of this is to develop a new high-speed train manufactured by Chinese manufacture, to substitute the current existing trains,” he said.
The world’s most populous country already has the world’s fastest trains, with up to 750km/h topping speeds achieved in Japan.
But China aims to build a new generation of train capable of further speeds of up to 720km/h.
Huang said the new model could be built in India “at any time” but he did not elaborate.
China’s state-run railways have been plagued by a series of scandals, from killing dozens of people in a high-speed crash in 2008 to a huge state-backed corruption crackdown that has led to the imprisonment of hundreds of officials.
High-speed rail has also been a target for critics who complain that the technology is expensive and has caused injuries and even deaths in accidents.
The express railroad system in China, built up over decades, currently transports around 4,400 million passengers a year.
The Chinese government announced in 2016 that it would triple public investment in railways by 2020 to accommodate a surge in passenger numbers.
Official figures show that passenger numbers rose 10.2% year-on-year in the first quarter of this year.