The introduction of CRH series was a major part of the sixth national railway speedup, implemented on April 18, 2007. In 2017, China Railway High-speed provides service to 29 of the country's 33 provincial-level administrative divisions and operates over 25,000 km (16,000 mi)'s passenger tracks in length, accounting for about two-thirds of the world's high-speed rail tracks in commercial service. It is the world's most extensively used railway service, with 1.713 billion trips delivered in 2017 bringing the total cumulative number of trips to 7 billion.
Over 1000 sets of rolling stocks are operated under the CRH including Hexie Hao (simplified Chinese: 和谐号; traditional Chinese: 和諧號; pinyin: Héxié Hào; literally: "Harmony") CRH1/2A/5 that are designed to have a maximum speed of 250 km/h (160 mph), and CRH2C/3 have a maximum speed of 350 km/h (220 mph). The indigenous designed CRH380A have a maximum test speed of 416.6 km/h (258.9 mph) with commercial operation speed of 350 km/h. The fastest train set, CRH380BL, attained a maximum test speed of 487.3 km/h (302.8 mph). In 2017, the China Standardized EMU franchise including CR400AF/BF joined China Railway High-speed and are designated under trademark Fuxing Hao (simplified Chinese: 复兴号; traditional Chinese: 復興號; pinyin: Fùxīng Hào; literally: "Rejuvenation"), painted on side walls of the rolling stock together with letters CR (China Railway). With a gradual plan, CR series is going to replace the current Hexie Hao franchise in service.
|China Railway High-speed|
|Dates of operation||2007–present|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) Standard gauge|
|China Railway High-speed|
High-speed rail services were first introduced in 2007 operating with CRH rolling stock. Those run on existing lines that have been upgraded to speeds of up to 250 km/h (160 mph) and on newer dedicated high-speed track rated up to 350 km/h (220 mph).
|Table:CRH service on high-speed rail lines|
|The following table lists the frequency of CRH service on 14 HSR lines (as of February, 2011). In some cases, CRH trains must still share the HSR lines with slower, non-high-speed trains, which are listed in the table. Note China's first HSR, the Qinshen PDL service as part of the Jingha Railway.
As of September 2010, there were 2,876 kilometres (1,787 mi) of upgraded conventional railways in China that can accommodate trains running speeds of 200 to 250 km/h. Over time with the completion of the national high-speed passenger-dedicated rail network, more CRH service will shift from these lines to the high-speed dedicated lines.
B. Long-haul service (typically, listed in schedules as G-series or D-series trains):
|Table:HSR service on conventional rail lines|
|The table below lists the upgraded conventional railways that run CRH high-speed trains every day.
Unlike the "conventional" (non-CRH trains), which run round the clock, most high-speed rail lines operations shut down each night. (See e.g. schedules for Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station; as of mid-December 2012, the first train of the day to leave the station is the 06:33 train to Wuhan, and the last one is the 21:10 train to Nanjing, which arrives there before 23:00.). While there are several sleeper EMU trainsets (abbreviated 动卧, dongwo) in existence running on the upgraded rail or high-speed lines, the overnight service is mostly limited to a few night trains between Shanghai and Beijing. With the schedule change planned for 2012-12-21, some of these trainsets will be re-purposed to also provide overnight high-speed service between Shanghai and Xi'an North.
Elsewhere, the fastest overnight rail service available is provided by fairly fast, but "conventional" (not CRH) Z-series trains. Some of them also use certain sections of the high-speed rail network; e.g., the planned Shanghai-Chengdu train Z121/2/3/4 will use the Huhanrong PDL from Nanjing to Wuhan.
In November 2016, CRRC Changchun unveiled CRH5E bullet train carriages with sleeper berths. Made in the CRRC factory in Changchun and nicknamed Panda, they are capable of running at 250 km/h, operate at -40 degrees Celsius, have wifi hubs and contain sleeper berths that fold into seats during the day. In 2017, CRRC unveiled a high speed train with double decked sleeper berths classed as the CRH2E series high speed rail train.
Since CRH2E-2463, brand new CRH2E rolls off the production line in the beginning of 2017. The layout inside CRH2E-2463 is different from the previous ones. Its corridor dominates the centre of the sleeping car, while on either side the bunk beds are fixed parallel. Each bed has a layout similar to airplane first class, and passengers are no longer sharing the room. Instead, each passenger has separate compartment looks like a capsule. Each capsule comes with independent tables, outlets, lamps, hangers and curtains. The hull of the train is redesigned so the noise level is lower compare to previous models.
China Railway High-speed runs different electric multiple unit trainsets, the name Hexie Hao (simplified Chinese: 和谐号; traditional Chinese: 和諧號; pinyin: Héxié Hào; literally: "Harmony") is for designs which are imported from other nations and designated CRH-1 through CRH-5 and CRH380A(L), CRH380B(L), and CRH380C(L). CRH trainsets are intended to provide fast and convenient travel between cities. Some of the Hexie Hao train sets are manufactured locally through technology transfer, a key requirement for China. The signalling, track and support structures, control software, and station design are developed domestically with foreign elements as well. By 2010, the truck system as a whole is predominantly Chinese. China currently holds many new patents related to the internal components of these trains, re-designed in China to allow the trains to run at higher speeds than the foreign designs allowed. However, these patents are only valid within China, and as such hold no international power. The weakness on intellectual property of Hexie Hao causes obstruction for China to export its high-speed rail related product, which leads to the development of the completely redesigned train franchise called Fuxing Hao (simplified Chinese: 复兴号; traditional Chinese: 復興號; pinyin: Fùxīng Hào; literally: "Rejuvenation") that based on indigenous technologies.
The trainsets are as follows:
CRH1A, B,E, CRH2A, B,E, and CRH5A are designed for a maximum operating speed (MOR) of 200 km/h and can reach up to 250 km/h. CRH3C and CRH2C designs have an MOR of 300 km/h, and can reach up to 350 km/h, with a top testing speed more than 380 km/h. However, in practical terms, issues such as maintenance costs, comfort, and safety make the maximum speed of more than 380 km/h impractical and remain limiting factors.
|Equipment type||Top speed in test||Designed speed||Seating capacity||Formation||Power
(under 25 kV)
|Entry into Service|
|CRH1A||278 km/h (173 mph)||250||668 or 611 or 645||5M3T||5,300 kW||2007|
|CRH1B||292 km/h (181 mph)||250||1299||10M6T||11,000 kW||2009|
|CRH1E||250||618 or 642||10M6T||11,000 kW||2009|
|CRH2A||282 km/h (175 mph)||250||610 or 588||4M4T||4,800 kW||2007|
|CRH2B||275 km/h (171 mph)||250||1230||8M8T||9,600 kW||2008|
|CRH2C Stage 1||394.2 km/h (244.9 mph)||300||610||6M2T||7,200 kW||2008|
|CRH2C Stage 2||350||610||6M2T||8,760 kW||2010|
|CRH3C||394.3 km/h (245.0 mph)||350||600 or 556||4M4T||8,800 kW||2008|
|CRH5A||250||622 or 586 or 570||5M3T||5,500 kW||2007|
|CRH380A||416.6 km/h (258.9 mph)||380||494||6M2T||9,600 kW||2010|
|CRH380AL||486.1 km/h (302.0 mph)||380||1027||14M2T||20,440 kW||2010|
|CRH380BL||487.3 km/h (302.8 mph)||380||1004||8M8T||18,400 kW||2010|
|CRH380DL||380||1013||8M8T||20,000 kW||Canceled (2012 original plan)|
|2004-10-10||Alstom||250 km/h||CRH5A||3||24||620 million EUR|
|2004-10-12||BST (Bombardier & CSR)||250 km/h||CRH1A||20||160||US$350 million|
|2004-10-20||Kawasaki||250 km/h||CRH2A||3||24||9,300 million RMB|
|2005-05-30||BST||250 km/h||CRH1A||20||160||US$350 million|
|2005-06||CSR Sifang||300 km/h||CRH2C Stage one||30||240||8,200 million RMB|
|350 km/h||CRH2C Stage two||30||240|
|2005-11-20||Siemens||350 km/h||CRH3C||3||24||13,000 million RMB|
|2007-10-31||BST||250 km/h||CRH1B||20||320||1,000 million EUR|
|2007-11||CSR Sifang||250 km/h||CRH2B||10||160||1,200 million RMB|
|2007-11||CSR Sifang||250 km/h||CRH2E||6||96||900 million RMB|
|2008-12-06||CSR Sifang||250 km/h||CRH2E||14||224||2,100 million RMB|
|2009-09-23||CNR Changchun||250 km/h||CRH5A||30||240||4,800 million RMB|
|2009-03-16||CNR Tangshan||380 km/h||CRH380BL||70||1,120||39,200 million RMB|
|2009-09-28||CSR Sifang||380 km/h||CRH380A||40||320||45,000 million RMB|
|BST||380 km/h||CRH380D||70||560||27,400 million RMB|
|250 km/h||Zefiro 250NG||60||480|
|2009-09-28||CNR Changchun||380 km/h||CRH380B||40||320||23,520 million RMB|
|2009-09-28||CNR Tangshan||350 km/h||CRH3C||20||160||3,920 million RMB|
|2009-12-30||CSR Puzhen||220 km/h||CRH6||24||192||2,346 million RMB|
|2010-07-16||BST||250 km/h||CRH1A||40||320||5,200 million RMB|
|2010-09-14||CSR Sifang||250 km/h||CRH2A||40||320||3,400 million RMB|
|2010-10-13||CNR Changchun||250 km/h||CRH5A||20||160||2,700 million RMB|
|2011-04-26||CNR Changchun||250 km/h||CRH5A||30||240||3,870 million RMB|
|Year||million riders||±% p.a.|
|Source:  2008 2010 2011 2014  2015 2016 2017|
Annual HSR ridership is highest in the world and has ramped up very quickly. China is the third country, after Japan and France, to have one billion cumulative HSR passengers. Ridership is approaching 1.5 billion per year, accounting for half of all regional rail trips (not including urban trains) in China.
Before the introduction of foreign technology, China conducted independent attempts to domestically develop high-speed rail technology. Some notable results included the China Star, but domestic Chinese companies lacked the technology and expertise of foreign companies, and the research process consumed a large amount of time. People's Republic of China Ministry of Railways spokesman Zhang Shuguang stated that due to historical reasons, China's overall railway technology and equipment is similar to that of developed countries' rail systems in the 1970s; high-speed rolling stock development is still in its infancy stage. If using only their own resources and expertise, the country might need a decade or longer to catch up with developed nations. In 2004, the Chinese State Council and the Ministry of Railways defined a modern railway technology and equipment policy as "the introduction of advanced technology, the joint design and production, to build China brand". The realization of the railway "leapfrog development" is the key task required to develop and utilize the technology required for high-speed trains (higher than 200 km per hour).
On April 9, 2004, the Chinese government held a conference on modern railway equipment and rolling stock, in which they drafted the current Chinese plan to modernize the country's railway infrastructure with advanced technologies.
On June 17, 2004, the Ministry of Railways launched the first round of bidding on the high-speed rail technology, but the company must be:
High-speed EMU design and manufacturing technology companies, including Siemens, Alstom, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Bombardier, initially had hoped to enter into a joint venture in China, but was rejected by the Ministry of Railways. The MOR set these guidelines for joint ventures to be acceptable:
A comprehensive transfer of technology to Chinese enterprises (especially in systems integration, AC drive and other core technologies) was necessary to allow domestic enterprises to master the core technology. While foreign partners might provide technical services and training, the Chinese companies must ultimately be able to function without the partnership. Railway equipment manufacturers in China were free to choose foreign partners, but foreign firms must pre-bid and sign the technology transfer agreement with China's domestic manufacturers, so the Chinese rolling stock manufacturers could comprehensively and systematically learn advanced foreign technology.
In the first round of bidding, 140 rolling stock orders were divided into seven packages of twenty orders each. After extensive review and negotiation, three consortiums won the bid:
These three consortiums were each given three, three, and one twenty order packages respectively. Germany's Siemens, as a result of an expensive technology bid — the prototype vehicle cost was 350 million yuan each column, technology transfer fee 390 million euros — did not get any orders in the first round. EMU tendered 22.7 billion yuan for technology transfer payments in the first payment, accounting for 51 per cent of the amount of the tender.
In November 2005, the Chinese Ministry of Railways and Siemens reached an agreement, and Siemens in a joint venture with Changchun Railway Vehicles and Tangshan Railway Vehicle (both owned by CNR) was awarded sixty 300 km/h high-speed train orders.
The introduction of high-speed trains, a foreign advanced technology, was required in order to implement China's "Long-term Scientific and Technological Development (2006–2020)". The core technology innovations necessary for a high-speed rail system to meet the needs of China's railway development resulted in the Ministry of Science and Ministry of Railways signing the "independent innovation of Chinese high-speed train cooperation agreement Joint Action Plan" on February 26, 2008. Academicians and researchers from CAS, Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University, Southwest Jiaotong University, and Beijing Jiaotong University have committed to working together on basic research into improving China's scientific and industrial resources into developing a high-speed train system.
Under the agreement, China's joint action plan for improvement of train service and infrastructure has four components:
The Chinese Ministry of Science has invested nearly 10 billion yuan in this science and technology plan, which is by far the largest investment program. The project has brought together a total of 25 universities, 11 research institutes, and national laboratories, and 51 engineering research centers. The Ministry of Science hopes to develop basic research sufficient to produce key technologies necessary to develop trains capable of 500 km per hour through the "863 Project" and "973 Project".
On 2009-07-27, Chinese Ministry deputy chief engineer Zhang Shuguang stated that America, Saudi Arabia and Brazil are interested in Chinese high-speed railway technology. July 28. The Federal Railroad Administration and the US government are negotiating on the introduction of Chinese railway technology. On 14 October 2009, Prime minister of Russia Vladimir Putin and the Russian Railroad Administration signed an Organizing and developing railway in Russia memo with Ministry of Railways of China, planning to build a high-speed railway from Vladivostok to Khabarovsk.
On 23 July 2011 at approximately 20:00 CST, two high-speed trains travelling on the Yongtaiwen railway line No. D301 and No. D3115 bound for Fuzhou collided on a viaduct near Wenzhou, Zhejiang, leading to 40 deaths and 191 injuries. Both trains were on the same rail track, headed in the same direction. D3115 ground to a halt in front of D301 due to a loss of electric power caused by lightning striking a viaduct near the Ou River. Signalling systems purportedly failed, and D301 rear-ended the first train, sending four carriages off the viaduct.
Many multinational companies also resent China for tweaking foreign designs and building the equipment itself rather than importing it.
In the past few months, some foreign companies that sold China its high-speed technology said the trains were not designed to operate at 215 miles per hour. The ministry said that Chinese engineers had improved on the foreign technology and that the trains were safe at the higher speeds.
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