China launches high-speed rail safety blitz
Published on May 31, 2011
China will launch a two-month safety crackdown on its prized Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail line. State news agency, Xinhua reported that the country’s State Administration of Work Safety will target “illegal activities” which may threaten the operational safety of the new 1,138km-long line, which is scheduled to open later this month. The move is the latest in a series of more conservative measures being introduced on China’s high-speed rail network. The top speed of services on the Beijing-Shanghai line has already been reduced to 300kph, in an apparent drive towards improving safety and operational efficiency.
The first class coaches are also likely to be reduced, allowing more capacity for regular passengers. According to reports, the new safety blitz is aimed at a specifi c threats, targeting the “production, processing, storage and sale of hazardous products in areas within 200 metres from the tracks and rail stations”, according to Xinhua. Mining and quarry blasting operations within 1,000 meters of the line will also be banned. The Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail line is the jewel in the country’s bullet train crown, halving the overland travelling time between China’s two largest cities from 10 hours to approximately fi ve hours. Trials are on-going on the line, with services expected to launch by the end of next month.
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