China Introduces Bullet Trains That Can Travel Over 200 MPH in Subzero Temperatures
The newest bullet train to be developed in China also makes winter travel easier for everyone.
According to CNN, the CR400AF-G train, a high-speed bullet train, can not only reach speeds up to 350 kilometers per hour (217 miles per hour), but it can also withstand temperatures reaching as low as -40 degrees Celsius (also -40 degrees Fahrenheit).
The new train is owned and operated by China State Railway Group and made its debut in Beijing on Jan. 6. The train is meant to connect the capital city to some of China's northeastern destinations, hence the reason for it to be cold resistant.
The train will operate between Beijing and cities like Shenyang and Harbin, CNN reported. Harbin is located in China's coldest state and is home to the annual International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival. It's currently not clear when the train will be fully operational and able to transport passengers.
"If the train stops in Harbin (one of China's coldest cities in northernmost Heilongjiang) for an hour, because of the extremely cold weather, the braking system can easily freeze if it stops moving for a while," Zhou Song, director of the China Railway Beijing Group's bullet train center, told China Daily. "The new system will enable the brakes to move from time to time even if the train stops, like a person who stamps his feet to keep warm in cold weather."
The train is equipped with some innovative features that protect it against extreme cold, CNN reported. Some of the features include chromium-molybdenum alloy bolts, silicone sealing strips, temperature-resistant brakes, and stainless steel piping. The train is also designed to consume less energy.
High-speed bullet trains with enhanced, never-before-seen features in Japan and China have been unveiled in greater numbers in recent years, including one bullet train in China that doesn't even need a driver to operate, and another train in Japan that can safely transport passengers in an earthquake.
Andrea Romano is a freelance writer in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @theandrearomano.