Beijing: A high-speed railway between two cities in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, known for its high latitudes and biting cold winters, today began a trial operation as China continues to expand its bullet train network to its nook and corners.
A bullet train departed from the provincial capital of Harbin at around 5 am to the city of Qiqihar, according to the Harbin Railway Bureau.
The railway, with the highest latitude among all high- speed railways in China, will be put into official operation in August, more than five years after the construction started on the 281-km route.
With a designated speed of 250 kilometres per hour and eight stops, the rail is expected to carry about eight million passengers annually, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The trains have been modified to adapt to temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius and resist adverse weather, such as strong winds, heavy rain, snow and fog.
In late June, the county's first high-speed railway to cross mountainous areas began operation, linking Fuzhou City, east China's Fujian Province, and Hefei, Anhui Province.
After China's first bullet train was built in 2008, high- speed rail has expanded prodigiously, with more than 16,000 kilometres of fast track in operation and another 10,000 kilometres under construction.
Besides expanding the bullet train network within the country, cutting down travel time, China is aggressively marketing its high-speed rail network abroad, especially in India.
China is currently conducting feasibility study for Chennai-Delhi bullet train.