Beijing: China has mastered braking technology designed to stop the world's fastest trains that travel at speeds of 500 kmph, a Chinese railway scientist has said.
The eddy-current braking testing system has been completed and put into use, Li Heping, a senior researcher of China Academy of Railway Sciences, said.
Eddy-current braking, a high-end technology for rail transportation, is used in high-speed trains travelling at 200 kmph or above.
The technology is under development in countries that have high-speed railways, he said.
Chinese researchers can make dynamic simulation to brake high-speed trains at a maximum speed of 500 kmph and launch testing research of eddy-current braking in all speeds and situations, he said.
"Chinese high-speed railways are safe. I, as a researcher, travel by high-speed trains whenever possible. I hope fellow countrymen have confidence in the safety of China's high-speed trains," Li was quoted as saying by state-run Xinhua news agency.
The fast-developing Chinese high-speed rail network suffered a setback after a massive accident in which a bullet train crashed into a stationary train on a high bridge in 2011.
Forty people were killed and over a hundred injured in that accident after which China cautiously proceeded in launching these trains.
The country's first high-speed railway, linking the Chinese capital Beijing and the neighbouring port city of Tianjin, was inaugurated in 2008, with trains travelling at a speed of 350 km per hour.
In December last year, the high-speed line linking Beijing and Guangzhou -- the world's longest -- went into service, bringing China's total high-speed rail network in operation to a length of more than 9,300 km.
China plans to have 18,000 km of high-speed lines in operation by 2015.
Tests show China's new-generation high-speed trains can run as fast as 486.1 kmph, a record high in the world.
Li also disclosed China will put dual-powered high-speed trains into operation next year, with self-owned intellectual properties.
These trains, driven by electric force and cells, will mainly be used for inter-city routes travelling at 200-250 kmph, leaving no emissions.
Dual-powered trains are fuelled with cells in areas without electric traction.
"This will fill the technology gap in the world and mark a major breakthrough in the research of high-speed train dynamics," Li said.
First Published: Friday, March 8, 2013, 20:02