The State Council, or the Cabinet, ordered Wednesday safety checks on high-speed railways and slower running speeds.
The decision was made at an executive meeting of the State Council, which was presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao, in the wake of a deadly bullet train crash that killed 40 people.
The safety checks cover high-speed railways that are both in operation and under construction, said a statement released after the meeting.
The State Administration of Work Safety will lead the inspection on equipment quality, operation safety, and design and quality of rails under construction, the statement said.
The statement also ordered newly-built high-speed rails to run at slower speeds during the initial stages for safety and improvement in techniques and management.
The government will reevaluate the system safety on rail projects that have received government approval but have not commenced construction, the statement said, requiring a halt of approval of new railway projects.
According to Minster of Railways Sheng Guangzu, trains with a designed maximum speed of 350 kilometers per hour (km/h) will run at 300 km/h and those designed to travel at 250 km/h will run at 200 km/h. Trains running at 200 km/h will slow down to 160 km/h.
“The ticket prices of the trains that slow down will also be reduced appropriately,” Sheng said Wednesday.
The Ministry of Railways started to carry out an overhaul of equipment safety, regulations and projects July 25 that will continue until the end of September.
“Quality can’t be sacrificed to speed up the schedule,” Sheng said.