China’s first electric train targets 600mph speed

Image copyright AFP Image caption The “Bullet Train” will be powered by diesel engines

A Chinese firm has unveiled a prototype for the country’s first electric train at speeds of more than 620mph (1,000km/h).

The ticket will be just 3 cents (£0.03) each way, it says.

Beijing-based Jiaotong University’s train system research institute built the prototype, the Beijing Beijing Telegraph reports.

Tramways in China already regularly reach speeds of up to 250mph (400km/h).

Prof Ma Guan, head of the institute, said the train would have the capacity to run at up to 500mph (800km/h) “in theory”.

Although powered solely by electricity, he said the train could be modified to use diesel power if the demand was high.

Fuel efficiency has been a major concern for the Chinese train industry as traditional air-cooled diesel engines have less capacity for emissions and higher-level waste heat than electric counterparts.

The Bullet Train also differs from other versions in that it is equipped with a reverse locomotive that can be “zapped” to keep the train from taking too long to come to a stop when the other set is delivering a warning signal.

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