Building the impressive Chinese high-speed train

Since BeijingTianjin interurban railway – from China first train line with a design speed of 350 km / h – was completed in 2008, dozens of high-speed lines were completed and put into service. After the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012 in particular, the development of the LGV accelerated, with the average annual construction of 3,500 km of railway lines. The speed and quality of this build has been acclaimed around the world.

– China has the longest operational HSR network in the world.

End of 2020, China had 37,900 km of operational TGV, i.e. 69 percent of the world total. This included 13,700 km (36 percent of from China total) of railways with a maximum operating speed of 300-350 km / h, and 24,200 km (64 percent) with a maximum operating speed of 200-250 km / h.

– China has the fastest commercial railways in the world.

from China Fuxing trains run at a speed of 350 km / h on 1,910 km of LGV lines, including the BeijingShanghai, BeijingTianjin, Beijing-Zhangjiakou, and ChengduChongqing routes. China is the only country in the world with commercially operated HSR trains that travel to 350 km / h. The country’s HSR network stretches from the forests in the northeast and snow-capped plains to the Yangtze River Delta in the south, from the northwest of the Gobi Desert to the eastern coast of the East China Sea, crossing rivers and mountains to reach every corner of the country. The HSR system was originally designed along four major north-south and four major east-west roads, but it is being extended to create a dense network of roads based on eight major north-south roads. and eight major east-west routes. The system already covers 92 percent Chinese cities with more than half a million inhabitants each.

China has built a leading HSR system with independent intellectual property.

China has a complete HSR technology system consisting of three main areas: technical construction, equipment manufacturing and operations management. Its HSR technology is at the forefront of the world and has become a global leader in a number of areas, making the significant transition from laggard to leader.

– Construction engineering

Because of from China Complex and diverse terrain and climate, the construction of the HSR network required overcoming some of the most difficult technical challenges in the world, particularly in the areas of railway foundations, tracks, long and large bridges and tunnels, transport stations in common and systems integration. By focusing on original innovations, China has developed a complete set of technologies for the construction of TGVs in various geological and climatic conditions. These achievements include the construction of the Yangtze Shanghai-Sutong Bridge and the Yangtze Wufengshan Bridge, whose main spans exceed 1 km; six world-class HSR bridges each with a span exceeding 500m, including the Tianxingzhou Yangtze River Bridge at Wuhan; over 100 LGV tunnels over 10 km long, including the Shiziyang tunnel on the CantonShenzhenHong Kong Qinling Express Rail Link and Tunnels on the Xi’an-Chengdu HSR Line; and many modern TGV central stations including Beijing South, Shanghai Hongqiao and Guangzhou South. In recognition of these exploits, several TGV bridges and tunnels have won the industry’s most prestigious awards from the International Association of Tunnels and Underground Space (ITA-AITES) and the International Bridge Conference (IBC).

– HSR technology and equipment

Following the introduction of advanced technology from abroad, China jointly designed and built the Hexie bullet train (also known as Multiple Electrical Units (EMUs)) with its partners. Then, after persevering in independent innovation, China overcame technical bottlenecks to develop China’s world-class Fuxing standardized EMU, with fully independent intellectual property, which includes the Fuxing Intelligent EMU model, the world’s first train capable of automatically running at 350 km / h. China has developed a range of products for Fuxing trains at various speeds in the range 160-350 km / h, which can be adapted to operate in harsh environments, such as plateaus, extremely cold areas, high winds and conditions sandy. Meet the unique requirements of HSR, China independently developed the CTCS-3 control system and built a dispatch control system using SCADA, giving the network a powerful, safe and reliable central nervous system and power supply system. Other advanced technologies, such as the BeiDou satellite navigation system, 5G and big data, have been successfully applied to the TGV.

– Operations management

China masters the entire range of TGV operations management technologies despite the complexity of the rail network. He created a planning technology for high density cross routes (running on high speed trains and conventional rail tracks) operating at different speeds. The system overcame the challenges of operating various EMUs and speed classes over long distances and across multiple line types to provide high-density public transport on high-speed main lines and very high-speed intercity railways. busy, with departure intervals of just 4 to 5 minutes at peak times. times.

– Safe manufacturing

Security has been enhanced with the help of science and technology. Fuxing’s intelligent EMU has more than 2,700 monitored points and features self-awareness in transit, health management, and fault diagnosis technologies, which provide comprehensive real-time monitoring of rail operations. China has also developed online monitoring systems for HSR equipment, including high-speed inspection vehicles and trackside detection and detection devices, which use big data analytics to accurately monitor infrastructure HSR. Natural disasters and public safety risks are mitigated through the development of natural disaster monitoring equipment (including wind, rain and snow) as well as foreign object intrusion and earthquake monitoring systems of land and early warning.

By focusing on realizing people’s desire for a better life and reforming the structure of transport supply in China, a passenger transport quality improvement plan and a Fuxing brand strategy were implemented to improve the overall experience and operations of HSR.

– Security

from China HSR prioritizes safety and focuses on quality in all aspects of construction management and operations. It implements a program of “creation of solid foundations, compliance with standards and improvement of quality and efficiency”, as well as a three-pronged security system composed of human, material and technological defenses, which allows a comprehensive management of HSR’s external security environment. and ensures the security and reliability of the network. From the end of June 2021, from China The HSR system safely traveled 9.28 billion km, or the equivalent of 232,000 revolutions of the earth, and safely transported 14.12 billion passengers.

– Efficiency

As part of the operational efficiency of the LGV network, train schedules are dynamically modified every day of the year to optimize the supply of LGV, thus making it possible to increase the number of trains in service and to extend their cover. At present, the national railways operate an average of more than 7,400 high-speed trains per day, or 77 percent of all passenger trains. A report released by the World Bank in 2019 stated that passenger density on from China HSR services are about twice as dense as HSRs in Europe.

– Comfort

from China HSR lines are built from ballast-free rails, with extra-long heavy-duty steel rails and seamless rails, for an extremely smooth ride. The Fuxing EMU features a high-speed bogie with excellent damping performance, ensuring low acceleration, amplitude and noise of vehicle vibrations, and meeting the highest international standards for on-board stability. Technical issues related to train aerodynamics, wheel-rail contact and train airtightness have been addressed to improve safety and comfort when trains enter and exit tunnels and cross at large speed. The on-board air conditioning system provides fresh air at the rate of 16 m³ per person per hour, or 7 percent-60 percent higher than that of high-speed trains in other countries. The cars are wide and spacious, with a cross section of 11.2 m², or 14.3 percent larger than other countries, providing passengers with a more comfortable travel environment.

– Convenience

China built the world’s largest online rail ticketing system (known as 12306), which has the capacity to sell up to 20 million tickets every day. Currently, 86.2 percent tickets are sold online, with a record of a day at 90 percent. The launch of the 12306 platform facilitated e-ticketing, mobile payments, online seat selection, entry to stations using facial recognition, and pre-order meal services. Traditional services, such as paper ticketing and ticket offices at stations, have also been retained for the benefit of the elderly and non-Internet users, which has made it possible to significantly improve the quality of service on the Internet. from China railways.

– Cost

The World Bank The 2019 report said that although many Chinese high-speed lines have a high proportion of their route on viaducts or in tunnels, the Chinese network was built at only two-thirds of the average cost in other countries, and the economic rate of return is positive, a reason to be optimistic about the long-term economic viability of major railways.

(This article is an excerpt from “Building China’s Impressive High-Speed ​​Rail”, by Lu Dongfu, Chairman of the Board of Directors of China State Railway Group, originally published in Qiushi Journal, English edition, n ° 5, 2021)


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