World-class bullet trains go global

Adopted from Xinhua, April 10, 2015

CHANGSHA, April 10 -- The outstanding reputation of China's high speed rail (HSR) industry not only shows the success of domestic innovation but also represents a shiftfrom the export of mass produced "Made in China" products.

China North Railway (CNR) and China South Railway (CSR) are industry pioneers,having developed faster, cheaper, cutting-edge services that have attracted worldwideattention.

As an advocate of Chinese HSR, Premier Li Keqiangactively champions the sector whileoverseas, saying that Chinese HSR technology ensures cost effective projects withoutsacrificing quality.

RISING QUALITY

In 2014, CNR and CSR signed overseas contracts worth over 6 billion U.S. dollars, up 60percent year on year.

A contract for 284 subway trains, worth 4.1 billion yuan (6.71 million U.S. dollars), forBoston MBTA's red and orange subway lines, was sighed by CNR on Jan.26, which wasChina's first foray into the U.S. rail transit market.

The trains are designed to travel at 102 kilometers per hour and up to 129,000kilometers a year on regular maintenance for at least 30 years.

CNR will also set up a R&D base in the the United States, which will create employmentopportunities for the local market.

Long Guzong, chief designer of CSR's major subsidiary, said the first HSR export of 12locomotives to Iranin the late 1990s, was, for him, one of the sector's most impressiveachievements.

"We were worried that we might encounter problems [with this first export contract] butthe high production quality meant the contract was a success, and this made usconfident."

Ding Rongjun, a senior mechanic with CSR, said the company holds the rights to themajority of rail track hauling and steering technology, showing CSR values innovation asmuch as manufacturing.

GOING GLOBAL

China's HSR is going global, thanks, in part, to President Xi Jinping's Belt and RoadInitiative.

On Dec. 30,2014, CNR and CSR announced their intention to merge into a new entity.

The merger has passed reviews by the economic planner and securities regulator, andscrutiny by foreign countries' antitrust bodies.

The stock market saw positive investor sentiment, with the share price of the twocompanies more than tripling since the announcement last year.

"The merger will unite our technology, management and market resources, thuspromoting China's high-level manufacturing and HSR to the world," said CSR presidentZheng Changhong.

CNR president Cui Dianguo believed the merger would accelerate innovation andupgrade related industries, changing China's reputation from manufacturing toinventing.

According to the merger plan, the approaching incorporated company will emphasizeoverseas industrial distribution and management in order to establish promising brandinfluence.

With HSR technology like permanent magnet synchronous hauling systems and 8-inchIGBT chips now been tested on real locomotives, China's position as the leader in theHSR sector is only expected to be cemented further.