Siemens Unveils $1 Billion Chinese Train Contract

Trains will be assembled in China from parts made in German, Austrian and China

Siemens said on March 20 it had won another Chinese contract for 100 high-speed trains worth 750 million euros (US$1 billion). Siemens "has secured five of the last six contracts on the high speed rail market over 300 kmh (188 mph)" in China, the company said.

The trains would be assembled in China from parts made in German, Austrian and Chinese factories run by Siemens, and were expected to be operational starting in late 2010. Siemens' Chinese partners in the project are Tangshan Railway Vehicles Co. Ltd., Changchun Railway Vehicles Co. Ltd. and the Chinese Academy of Railways.

Siemens executive Hans-Joerg Grundmann said the order was especially important because it meant supplying the first trains for a line from Beijing to Shanghai. That was "the most important high speed line in the country," he said.

China plans to create the largest high-speed network in the world and future connections between Wuhan and Guangzhou, and Wuhan and Shijazhuang would also use Siemens' Valero trains. "Altogether, the network of these lines will cover a total distance of approximately 16,000 kilometers (10,000 miles) by the year 2020," the statement said. At a total length of 400 meters (yards), the new model "will be the worlds longest single train in use in the area of high speed transportation," Siemens said.

The Chinese trains are to comprise 16 cars and carry around 1,060 passengers each. They would run at 350 kmh (218 mph) and make the 1,318-kilometre (825-mile) run from Beijing to Shanghai in four hours.

Trains based on the Valero design already operate in Germany and between Madrid and Barcelona in Spain. Moscow and Saint Petersburg are to be connected with a Russian version at the end of this year.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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