Smart railway gets powered up


High-tech: A Fuxing bullet train designed to run on the Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed railway being exhibited in Beijing. — China Daily/Asia News Network

Beijing: Construction is underway on the electrical facilities for the Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed railway, which will have the world’s first automatically driven trains running at speeds of up to 350kph.

The first 1,300m overhead wire for the railway is now being set up, and smart devices will be enabled throughout the power supply system to ensure operational safety, China Railway Corporation said on Monday.

The new line – an important project for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games – will be the world’s first intelligent, high-speed railway on which automatically operated trains reach speeds of 350kph, the corporation said.

The automatic operation of bullet trains in coordination with the Beidou Navigation Satellite System – the first time it has been applied to trains – was tested on a section of the Beijing-Shenyang line from July to September and passed all safety tests.

Using the system, the train can automatically start, run between stations, adjust its timing according to the schedule, accurately stop at a station, and open and close its doors, said Jiang Ming, deputy chief engineer of China Railway Signal and Communication Corporation.

The train is equipped with several thousand sensors, which allow automatic inspection at any time to ensure safe operation.

The train is also designed with an area to store snowboards, a device to secure wheelchairs and a mobile news centre where passengers can watch live Olympic broadcasts.

A variety of intelligent robots will also be used at high-speed rail stations to guide passengers and help them carry their baggage.

The laying of track for the railway is expected to be completed in the first half of this year, and trial operations and adjustments to the line will be launched in the second half. — China Daily/Asia News Network

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