China is all set to start operation of what is claimed to be the world's fastest bullet train service next month. The newly operating trains are expected to take an hour less than their existing counterparts to travel between Beijing and Shanghai that are 1,318 kilometres apart.
As part of the new service, as many as 14 bullet trains – named "Fuxing", which means rejuvenation – will start operating between the two cities from September 21, the South China Morning Post reported on Monday, citing Thepaper.cn, a state-owned news website.
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With a top speed of 350 kilometres per hour (kmph), Fuxing trains will outrun Hexie, or Harmony, trains, the existing fastest bullet trains in China with their top speed capped of 300 kmph. According to Xinhua, the Fuxing trains can go even faster and have a maximum speed of 400 kmph.
After the Beijing-Shanghai line, the Fuxing trains will be put into operation in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area, serving 10 stops in the region, including Tianjin, Baoding and Shijiazhuang, state broadcaster CCTV reported, citing China Railway.
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The new high-speed train network is reportedly part of China's efforts to stay ahead of countries like Japan, Germany and France. According to China Railway, the state-owned operator, around 600 million passengers travel in the Beijing-Shanghai line, which was opened in 2011.
The line is also said to be one of the most profitable ones in China with an estimated profit of 6.6 billion yuan (about $1 billion) in 2015. The country, which is estimated to have spent $360 billion on high-speed rail, has the world's longest high-speed rail network of over 22,000 kilometres, which is about 60 percent of the world's total.
Meanwhile, the fastest train in testing is Japan's Maglev, which set a world record of 603 kmph during tests conducted in April 2015.
Apple is also reportedly working with the Indian Railways to increase the speed of the country's Gatiman Express to 600 kmph.