China unveils new high-speed train prototype amid safety concerns

China unveiled a brand new high-speed train over the weekend that is capable of reaching speeds of up to 300 mph, making it 100 mph faster than its closest competition.

The prototype high-speed train was revealed in the eastern province of Shandong. In development by CSR Corp, China’s largest rail vehicle manufacturer, the new train will be the newest in the line of their CRH series. It’s said to be a six-car train with a design inspired by an ancient Chinese sword – and, as previously mentioned, it’s quite fast.

China is home to the world’s largest high-speed train system, but there have been concerns raised throughout the year over whether or not the high-speed railways are actually safe, and if there’s even a need for faster trains to begin with.

Back in July, one of CSR’s other high-speed trains collided into the back of another train, killing nearly 40 people and raising doubts among potential passengers as to the safety of China’s vast railway. The cause of the crash is unknown.

CSR Corp didn’t say when their new prototype high-speed train would be put into use, nor did they state that it would even be put into commercial use at any point. Additionally, WSJ points out that there has been little indication in state media that CSR Corp has even had the chance to test the train yet, but the company didn’t say for sure.

Even if it doesn’t get put to use anytime soon, the new train, once it performs its first successful test run, should be somewhat of a morale boost for China’s reeling railway industry after public safety concerns raised from the July train crash.

via Wall Street Journal

[Image credit: Reuters]

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