China's 500km/h test train

500km/h test train makes its debut

China’s largest train maker, CSR Corporation, is conducting trials of a high-speed test train capable of speeds up to 500km/h.

The six-car train was designed and built by Qingdao-based CSR subsidiary CSR Sifang as a research platform and is not intended for commercial operation. It has a tractive power of 22,800kW, compared with 9600kW for the CRH380A trains running on the Beijing-Shanghai line.

CSR group chief technologist Ding Sansan said the sword-shaped head end and rocket-like rear have been optimised to minimise air resistance and tail-end lift.

Other innovations include the use of carbon-reinforced plastic materials and magnesium alloys in the structure, nanometre sound insulation, wind-resistance braking, advanced safety monitoring and fault diagnosis and Ethernet ring network control.

The train was developed level by level according to a rigorous scientific process, and went through massive data analysis, simulation computing, plan comparison, parts tests, system tests and inter-system matching tests.

Scientists and engineers hope to develop a greater understanding of how rail vehicle systems, structures and materials perform at speeds up to 500km/h. Research will focus on vehicle security and reliability, test data for basic theoretical research and a verification platform for the application of new materials and technologies.

CSR says its next move will be to conduct comprehensive bench tests at the national engineering laboratory for bullet trains, including dynamics, traction and network tests, especially rolling tests at ultra-high-speed, in order to validate safety, reliability and other performance indicators.

Afterwards, the train will be put into online operation and used as a comprehensive high-speed mobile test platform for vehicles, lines and networks, including real-time tests of rail, contact lines, wheel rail dynamics, vehicle dynamic response and bogie load.

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