China launched a super-rapid test train over the weekend which is capable of travelling 500 kilometers per hour, state media said on Monday, as the country moves ahead with its railway ambitions despite serious problems on its high-speed network.
The train, made by a subsidiary of CSR Corp Ltd, China's largest train maker, is designed to resemble an ancient Chinese sword, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
It "will provide useful reference for current high-speed railway operations," it quoted train expert Shen Zhiyun as saying.
Qingdao-based CSR Sifang, a subsidiary of train maker CSR, produced the six-car train partly out of carbon fiber-reinforced plastics, according to state media. The design was inspired by ancient Chinese swords.
The train, some 200 kph quicker than China's fastest trains, is experimental. It was based on CSR's CRH380A, which set a world train speed record at 486.1 kph (302 mph) last year.
The data from the test may be used for the expansion of China's rail network. The push is part of a national plan to build some 10,000 miles of high-speed rail linking large cities by 2020.
Xinhua News said the super-train has a maximum tractive force of 22,800 kilowatts, compared with 9,600 kilowatts for the CRH380 trains running on the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway, which opened this year.