China is ready to raise the speed limit on its newest high-speed rail link between Beijing and Shanghai as tests on the Fuxing bullet train have been completed and showed positive results, according to media reports on Thursday.
Fuxing, the nation's next-generation high-speed train with higher technological standards, will start running at 350 kilometers per hour compared with the current speed of 300 kilometers per hour, people.cn reported.
The increase, which is due to start as early as mid-September, will cut the travel time between Beijing and Shanghai by 30 minutes to four and one-half hours.
The latest rounds of tests were conducted by the train's developer, China Railway Corp, at 350 kilometers per hour on Thursday. Experts then concluded that safety requirements had been met and that it was ready to operate at such a speed, the people.cn report said.
The Fuxing is the first high-speed train developed entirely domestically. It made its debut between Beijing and Shanghai on June 27. Although the train is designed to operate as fast as 400 kilometers per hour, it has been running at a speed limit of 300 kilometers per hour. The limit was put in place after a fatal accident on a high-speed train in 2011, which killed 40 people and injured another 200.
The higher speed is a significant development in China's rail technologies, and it reflects China's determination to increase exports of high-speed trains amid hot competition in the sector.
The arrival of Fuxing - which means rejuvenation in Chinese - and its speed hike satisfy the rising domestic and overseas demand for high-speed trains, the people.cn report said.
The high-speed track between Beijing and Shanghai, which was built six years ago, has carried more than 600 million passengers since it started operation.