Ministry unveils new plan for bullet trains

BEIJING – The Ministry of Railways on Thursday unveiled a new operation plan for bullet trains, one day after the State Council ordered high-speed trains to run at slower speeds for safety.

High-speed trains running on lines between Beijing and Tianjin, and between Shanghai and Hangzhou, will run at 300 km per hour instead of 350 km per hour, the ministry said.

Lines that run at 250 km per hour will be cut back to 200 km per hour, including high-speed rails between Hefei and Nanjing, Hefei and Wuhan, Shijiazhuang and Taiyuan and other lines.

CRH (China Railway High-speed) trains that operate at 200 km per hour will be reduced to 160 km per hour, it added.

Ticket prices will be reduced by 5 percent on the affected lines, the ministry said.

The new schedule for Beijing-Tianjin intercity high-speed railway, Hainan east ring line and Guangzhou-Zhuhai intercity rail will be implemented as of August 16 with numbers of bullet trains in service unchanged. Tickets sales will start from August 12.

The ministry cut high-speed trains running between Beijing and Shanghai to 66 pairs from 88 pairs per day, effective as of August 16, as the China North Locomotive and Rolling Stock has decided to recall CRH380BL trains that run on the line for overhaul. Tickets sales will commence from August 12.

Other high-speed lines will adopt the new plan from August 28, and tickets will be sold from August 24.

The State Council on Wednesday also ordered overall safety checks on high-speed railways after a fatal train collision that killed 40 people last month raised concerns over the fast-growing high-speed rail sector.

It also decided to suspend approval of new railway construction projects for the time being.


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