Beijing (Urban Transport News): China has added a new feather in its cap. The World's fastest high-speed driverless bullet train has started its service from Saturday. It will run at the speeds of up to 350kph on the Beijing-Zhangjiakou railway line.
In last year, the China Railway Corporation (CRC) has conducted trial tests in automatic train operation of the bullet train on a section of the Beijing-Shenyang line and the system passed all safety tests.
“The bullet train can automatically depart, operate between stations and adjust the train’s operation to meet its precise timetable after a single button is pressed,” said a researcher from China Academy of Railway Sciencesy.
At present a driver deployed in train to perform these operations on high-speed trains. After successful operation of the train, China is planning to replace the operation of bullet trains from manual to ATO on two intercity lines in the Pearl River Delta region. These trains run at a maximum speed of 200kmph; the new Fuxing trains, which debuted on the Beijing-Shanghai line in June 2017, can travel at up to 350kph.
According to the CRC, for the first 10 years of the high-speed ATO trains, an attendant will still be deployed on board to ensure nothing goes wrong. After that, the trains will be totally driverless.
“An automatic driving system could greatly improve the safety of trains which run on high-speed railways, compared with human drivers who may have sudden health problems or disregard safety precautions during driving,” Sun Zhang, a railway expert, and professor at Shanghai Tongji University.
The Beijing-Zhangjiakou line, which is known as the Jing-Zhang line, is a new railway currently being constructed for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, to enable easy travel between Beijing and the Winter Olympic Village in 50 minutes.
China Railway Corporation (CRC) is a state-owned sole proprietorship enterprise that undertakes railway passenger and cargo transportation services in China.