Written by by Polly Mosendz, CNN Beijing
This story originally appeared on CNN.com
China unveiled a prototype of its fastest high-speed rail train on Friday — a sleek high-speed rail train that can reach a top speed of 620 kilometers per hour (410 mph).
This was a key event for China’s high-speed rail network, which will welcome its 100th train this year. China is the largest high-speed rail manufacturer in the world with 54 operating trains and $145 billion of investment to date, and will add another 100 trains to its fleet by the end of 2015.
At the M&P Expo in Shenzhen, the Greater Bay Area High Speed Railway Technology’s Xinxiang high-speed train, has the world’s longest speed record (528 km/h), running in China for six years before being donated to the showcase event. This train has taken scientists 12 years to create, and included in the design are a carbon-fiber and composite reinforced plastic frame and 95 percent carbon steel construction.
CNN Style takes a look inside the power and iconic style of China’s first high-speed train, made by a Chinese company.
But rather than stay a prototype, the Xinxiang has made it its new home — for now. Though this is the future of high-speed rail in China, it is unlikely to become a commercial service in the near future — China does not have the infrastructure to support such speeds.
“The doors are usually closed at very high speeds in China,” Tim Beck, the founder of RimasOcontrol, which trains trains in China told CNN. “Due to this, there is no visibility inside the train, and train drivers need to spend a significant amount of time and energy trying to find seats.”
That’s not all — with an internal walkway designed for pregnant women, the train is extremely crowded.
The speed record is being claimed by a China-made high-speed train traveling at a reported peak speed of 490 km/h (310 mph).
1 / 20 RFA / China Daily
This shiny new train will be used as a showcase for the talents of the country’s train designers. Trains have been built by the Wukan Railway Transport Co. in southern China to run on the newly completed Xiongan New Area high-speed rail line that connects Beijing and Shanghai.
This year, China is adding another 300 trains to its domestic high-speed rail network, with over a million passengers traveling a day. Their best exports? Steel, glass and concrete.
The country has made notable strides in high-speed rail since its inception. Since May 2012 the high-speed rail network has grown at a daily capacity of 3.15 million passengers, according to China Railway 1210.