Engineer appeals against halt on high-speed railway construction

A Chinese railway engineer on Monday warned against a random halt to the country's high-speed railway construction, as it

could cause huge losses.

Wang Mengshu, chief engineer of the China Railway Tunnel Group, said China lost more than 100 billion yuan (15.87 billion

U.S.dollars) last year when several high-speed railway projects were halted due to a shortage in funding.

He made the remarks on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature.

China has planned to build inter-city high-speed railways that could link Beijing and all the provincial capitals, as well as

connect provincial capitals with smaller cities, said Wang, who is also an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering

and an NPC deputy. ' The government aimed to make railway trips between Beijing and all provincial capitals, except Urumqi

and Lhasa in the far west, no more than eight hours, he said.

China's railway sector was hit hard in the second half of 2011, after the government tightened liquidity control and a deadly

train collision last July eroded investor confidence and limited the ministry's ability to borrow money or sell bonds.

The funding shortage has delayed the construction of the high-speed railway between Beijing and Guangzhou in the south, and

that between Beijing and the northern city of Harbin. Both projects were scheduled to be finished by the end of last year,

according to Wang.

China planned to invest 400 billion yuan in railway infrastructure construction in 2012, slightly down from the total

expenditure of 469 billion yuan in 2011 and a marked decrease from over 700 billion yuan in 2010, according to the railway


 The sound of metro

Yang Limeng pricks up his ears to catch every little clink and clang of the metro while the rest of the passengers idle their

travel time away with MP3s, phone games or iPads.

The 53-year-old metro maintenance worker, who has been working for the Shanghai Rail Transit Maintenance Support Center for

13 years, is listening to noises that the subway makes - not only during work, but every second he spends on the vehicles.

It is not noise, but music for him, he said.

"Generally speaking, it makes a sustained and reasonable sound and any disagreeable pitch suggests some potential troubles,"

Yang explained.

In his mind, the noises the metro makes have their own beats just like every song has its unique tempo and rhythm.

"I don't know why but no matter how noisy the environment is, I can always pick up the pattern. And unlike other people, who

can quickly adjust themselves to reading newspapers or listening to music, my initial response after stepping into any metro

line is to prick up my ears for the sounds," he said.

Cao Shengyun, Yang's supervisor, said less than 10 people in the team of 173 working for Metro Line 8 where Yang is based

have such sharp ears.

"Diagnosing according to the sound of the metro is Yang's special skill," he said. "We have all kinds of senior technicians

and engineers in the team, but you need to practice for at least 10 years to have such sensitive ears as Yang's."

It has been Yang's habit to pay attention to the sound of the metro since the Shanghai World Expo in 2010, when his company,

Shanghai Shentong Metro, asked each member of the technical staff to act as "Shanghai metro's doctor" whenever they have a

chance to get a ride.

Yang detected at least two potential troubles on Line 8 using his magic ears in 2010 and 2011.

"I picked up some very faint sounds last summer," he said. "I wasn't sure what caused the problem in the beginning until I

walked toward the source from another carriage and waited for the metro to make a turn. It sounded like the discordant

ringing of metallic objects."

Yang thought it was something wrong with the metro's twist bar at the bottom of the vehicle. He immediately contacted the

dispatcher and suggested recalling the car for further examination and repair.

It turned out that Yang was right.

"The twist bar is there to prevent the metro turning over when it makes a turn at high speed, but it is not supposed to make

any noise," said Yang.

Repairing machines has been Yang's lifelong work and hobby.

Having once worked in a local watch factory and then a spinning mill, Yang said he spent his life examining and repairing


"It's sort of my hobby to fix things, no matter if it's as tiny as the workings of a watch or as big as Shanghai's metro, I

like to fix it," Yang said.

He is popular at home as well as in his workplace because of his hobby, said Yang's wife Liu Jieqing.

"Our neighbors, friends and colleagues come to him if they break their phones, watches, computers, even small electrical

equipment," she said.

The textile mill where Yang worked had just closed when he saw a job posting from Shanghai Metro.

"The metro was still some new mode of transportation for us during the 1990s, but I still gave it a try because I'm good at

maintenance," he said.

Yang passed a written examination, face-to-face interview, skill exam and physical exam, which altogether took him more than

half a year.

With Shanghai's average daily traffic volume reaching 6,500,000 people, the city's metro system follows its own rigid but

efficient system.

"For example, we're requested to report any problem to the group (Shanghai Shentong Metro Group) if we can't fix the car

within five minutes sharp, and within 15 minutes the city's government would hear about it," said Yang, explaining why he and

his colleagues have to work in shifts to ensure maintenance 24 hours a day.



'Lei Feng's Day' Brings Metro Spirit

All dressed in 1960s Chinese army uniforms, about a thousand college students staged an art performance at Shanghai's

bustling Metro stations Monday morning to call on the public to follow the example of Lei Feng - the nation's most famous

good Samaritan at that time.

Monday is "Lei Feng's Day," an annual campaign day in China for learning from the Chinese soldier who has inspired Chinese

for generations. Lei devoted much of his spare time and money to selflessly helping the needy.

Wearing a cotton army cap and an army green bag marked with characters of "Serving the People," Zhu Jie greeted passers-by

while rapping a song at the People's Square Metro Station downtown.

"Riding with civility, standing in queue. We've got to pay dear for littering around," the 23-year-old rhymed with a dozen of

his companions, who were waving signposts carrying words like "Being ready to help others for a just cause."

According to the Shanghai Municipal Committee of the Chinese Communist Youth League, about 1,000 college students in Shanghai

took part in the activity, using their own original ways to share their understanding of Lei Feng.

In addition to rapping a song, they mimicked Lei Feng, giving warm hugs to strangers or preaching good manners in subway


"We should see Chinese young generations have their own understanding of what a good Samaritan should do in the modern

society. It is good that the government can allow them to do the street art to express things in their own ways," said Zhou

Hanmin, vice chairman of the Shanghai Municipal Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.



Fastest Metro train set for trials

The city's fastest subway train is expected to enter a test phase along the future Metro Line 16 in the first half of this

year, local Metro authorities said yesterday.

The train has a design speed of 120 kilometers per hour, said Shanghai Shentong Metro Group. It will traverse the line's 59-

kilometer-route from Longyang Road Station to seaside Lingang New City in southern Pudong New Area. Line 16 is expected to

start operation this year.

Shentong ordered 46 such trains from the producer, CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Co, a leading train manufacturer in China.

Metro officials said relatively high-speed trains are suitable for the long lines operating in suburban areas, such as lines

11 and 16, to shorten the journey time.

Shentong said "during daily operation the speed will not reach the top out of safety concerns."

The short distances between stations also will limit the speed.

The train's seats will be set in rows like those on railway trains, which will add about 20 seats on each carriage compared

with the configuration on other lines.

By 2014, the city should have 14 lines with a network of more than 500 kilometers of track. Shanghai's subway system is

already the longest in the world.



Railway Minister: Ministry Will Not Merge

Railway Minister Sheng Guangzu has denied recent rumors that his ministry would merge with the Ministry of Communications and

construction work on China's high-speed railway network had been halted, the Beijing Times reports.

Earlier media reports cited insiders who said the Chinese Academy of Engineering had conducted research on merging the two


"I have never heard of it," Sheng said about the reports.

Some previous media reports also said construction work on China's high-speed railway had stopped because of the Railway

Ministry's high debt ratio of 60 percent.

"The high-speed railway construction has not been halted, and the debt ratio won't affect the construction." Sheng said in


The number of railway construction projects in China increased dramatically after the government rolled out a 4 billion-yuan

(US$633.4-million) stimulus plan to counter the 2008 financial crisis. Most of the funds went to infrastructure construction.

But the sector was hit hard in the second half of 2011 after the government tightened liquidity control and a deadly train

collision killed 40 people in east China last July, eroding investor confidence and limiting the ministry's ability to borrow

money or sell bonds.




China builds railway to benefit fertilizer supply

Construction has started on a railway extension that is hoped will ease the transport strain in a plateau salt lake area in

west China, one of the country's two key potash fertilizer bases, local officials said Saturday.

The 25.3 km-long rail extension that will link the base of Zangge Potash Co Ltd in Qaidam basin, Qinghai province, with the

Qinghai-Tibet railway, will have the capacity to carry 3.5 million tons of fertilizer each year, officials said.

The rail project, estimated to cost 260 million yuan ($41.6 million), is managed by China Railway First Survey and Design

Institute Group Ltd.  It is expected to be finished by the end of August.

China widely uses potash fertilizers for farming. In 2011, the country produced 4.7 million tons of potash fertilizers but

imported another 3.78 million tons to meet domestic demand, according to data released by a fertilizer industry association

of China.

Qaidam and the Lop Nor in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region are China's two major potash production bases. But both are

located in the country's remote and underdeveloped northwestern region.



Train maker enmeshed in luxury fitting controversy

China's major bullet train maker remains mired in controversy despite refuting a damaging media report.

The China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Corporation (CSR), the country's largest train manufacturer, on Tuesday refuted a

media report claiming that it had spent lavishly on luxury fixtures. The report accuses the company of purchasing internal

fixtures such as toilet fittings at prices far exceeding market averages from companies with "high-level connections" to the

Ministry of Railways.

The statement, which runs to less than 200 words and came upon Railway Minister Sheng Guangzu's request, did not give any

details apart from the denial, and was followed by the media's counter-statement.

Century Weekly, the magazine which ran a cover story about the CSR's alleged extravagant procurement, said the article was

based on purchase documents it had obtained, and it would release those papers if necessary.

Last month, the magazine reported that the CSR had been paying up to 10 times more than market rates for toilet and other

fittings supplied by new and unknown companies with government connections.

The report gave out a string of overpriced items including sink tops, water valves and chairs in the first class carriage.

For instance, sink tops were typically priced at 3,000 yuan ($474.9) per linear meter in Beijing's retail market, but the CSR

bought a two-linear-meter one for 26,096 yuan, more than four times the market price, the magazine reported.

Much attention has been paid to bullet trains and their makers after a deadly rail accident last summer.

On July 23, a high-speed train rammed into a stalled train near the city of Wenzhou in the eastern province of Zhejiang,

leaving 40 dead and 172 injured.



Chinese subway to run under high-speed rail

Workers in East China's Hangzhou city on Thursday completed digging a tunnel that runs under a high-speed railway and that

will soon hold a subway line.

The 800-meter-long tunnel, which connects Wengmei Station and Yuhang High-speed Railway Station along the city's No 1 Subway

Line, was dug under the Shanghai-Hangzhou High-speed Railway, making the subway line the first in China to run under an

operating high-speed railway, said Huang Xianfeng, chief of the design department of the city's subway group.

The first subway line in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, the 48-km-long No 1 also runs under the Qiantang River and

the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, added Huang.

Construction of the line started in March 2007, and it is expected to be put into trial operation in June.


Women's Day celebrated on bullet train

Women passengers taking the Chengdu-Dujiangyan Bullet Train in Southwest China's Sichuan province were given a pleasant

surprise on Thurday when crew members sent them flowers.

"I didn't expect to receive such a beautiful flower," said a timid passenger from an rural area of Chengdu, provincial

capital of Sichuan.

To celebrate the International Women's Day, crew members of the Chengdu-Dujiangyan Bullet Train sent flowers to women

passengers and had photos taken with them on March 8.




China develops bullet train for use in extreme cold

Chinese engineers have developed a new type of bullet train that can withstand temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees

Celsius, a researcher familiar with the train's development said Sunday.

Li Heping, a research fellow with the China Academy of Railway Sciences (CARS), told Xinhua on the sidelines of the annual

session of the 11th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee, which opened Saturday.

The prototype of the new bullet train was developed by China CNR Corporation Limited, the country's second largest train

maker, said Li, who is also a member of the CPPCC National Committee.

Currently, the new bullet train is under safety evaluation and tests by the CARS, Li said.

"We demand bullet trains running in severe cold areas withstand the test of temperature as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius

and such requirements are very stringent," he said.

According to Li, component parts, material and the control system equipped with the bullet train must pass all necessary

tests under an ultra-low temperature environment before putting into operation.

If the new bullet train passes all tests, it is expected to debut in the Harbin-Dalian rail line, in northeast China, at the

end of this year, Li said.


Company Asked to Respond to Luxurious Train Fittings

The Ministry of Railways has demanded China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Corporation (CSR) respond to reports about

luxurious equipment on bullet trains after media claimed the company purchased the equipment at prices much higher than

market rates, China Youth Daily reports.

Railway Minister Sheng Guangzu said although CSR was not a subsidiary enterprise of the Railway Ministry, he still asked it

to respond to questions from the media while he attended a group discussion of the Tibet delegation Monday during the Fifth

Session of the 11th NPC in Beijing.

An article in Century Weekly magazine revealed that the purchase list of CSR, China's biggest train manufacturer, contained

more than 3,000 items on CRH-2 trains, such as seats and washstands, which were priced several times higher than the average

retail cost.

The magazine reported that entire bathroom sets cost 300,000 yuan-400,000 yuan (US$ 47,600-US$63,400), including a 72,395 -

yuan sink, a 26,000-yuan washstand, a 1,125-yuan tissue box and a more than 10,000-yuan LCD TV.

The washstand, according to the magazine, usually sells for 3,000 yuan per linear meter at Beijing's Easyhome, while CSR

bought a two-linear meter one for 26,096 yuan -- nearly four times the market price.



CSR President Zhao Xiaogang: Misunderstood High-Speed Rail

Since the beginning of 2012, CSR President Zhao Xiaogang has been so busy that he almost has no time to eat. His lunch is usually a bowl of common noodles. “When we visited in Europe, we often ate a meal for a couple of hours, which was very tired. We don’t have that much time to have a meal with them.” Maybe it is the busy work that has made today’s CSR’s 601766.SH, which, in recently years, has seen rapid development.

But the situation of the capital market gives Zhao Xiaogang grievance and investors continuously sell their CSR stocks. “CSR’s Hong Kong stocks are recently going up because Hong Kong media recently reprinted news published by the Ministry of Railways that the construction fund of this year has been in place, but A-stock still shows no good sign.” Because of this, Zhao Xiaogang held a communication meeting with CSR investors on November 7, 2011 after the temporary stockholder’s meeting was over and sincerely addressed many questions brought up by the investors.

On January 11, CSR’s directional increase was approved by CSRC. Regarding the shrinking financing scale speculated by the media, in the interview with Talents, Zhao Xiaogang thought that the price for directional increase which is RMB4.46 per share is a hard-won opportunity to buy in. In addition, the reporter found that the price Zhao Xiaogang had for CSR stock was RMB5.6 per share, which is much higher than the directional increase price. 

Actually, most domestic institutional investors are not quite clear about the investment logic in China’s high-speed rail, or the development trend of rail transit. The boom and slump in the high-speed rail concept stocks shows the moodiness and immature of the investors.

After 7.23 railway accident, will Chinese government tighten its investment in high-speed rail? How to deal with the development fund for high-speed rail when the situation of fund is critical? How about the future growth of high-speed rail concept stocks represented by CSR? Do they have long-term investment value? Zhao Xiaogang said that only when those problems were answered clearly can one truly understand the investment logic in China’s high-speed rail.

Outbreak of rigid demand

Though “it’s difficult to buy a ticket online” became a new topic in 2012 transport during the Spring Festival, compared with the past, thank to high-speed rail, travelers held up at the railway stations saw a sharp decrease. “Not so crowded in the peak of transport during the Spring Festival” has become a highlight in the Spring Festival. During those 40 days, to cope with sudden burst of passenger flow, China high-speed rails even extended operation time in the night. It is recorded that in the 40 days the railway carried 221 million passengers in total.



CSR Chengdu Railway Vehicles Co., Ltd. Established in Chengdu

On February 28 in Chengdu, the signing of Joint Venture Agreement on CSR Chengdu Railway Vehicles Co., Ltd. by CSR Qingdao Sifang Locomotive & Rolling Stock Co., Ltd., CSR Chengdu Co., Ltd. and Chengdu Industry Investment Group Co., Ltd. marked the official establishment of CSR Chengdu Railway Vehicles Co., Ltd. 

In the 12 Western China International Fair in October 2011, the People''s Government of Chengdu signed Framework Agreement of Strategic Cooperation with CSR. The Joint Venture Agreement signed on February 28 is the first realized project of the Framework Agreement. It is a substantial step forward that Chengdu railway vehicles change from “made in Qingdao” to “made in Chengdu”, which also means that Sichuan’s strength in high-end equipment manufacturing industry is further enhanced.

With a total investment of RMB980 million, the newly formed CSR Chengdu Railway Vehicles Co., Ltd. will mainly undertake such businesses as general assembly, maintenance and after-sales service of urban mass transit subway vehicles. Phase I Project is located in the Hongliu Depot of Chengdu railway and is planned to construct in the first quarter of this year. And by the fourth quarter, it is planned to form a total assembly of 200. At the beginning of 2013, first “Made in Chengdu” railway vehicle will be made.

According to Zhangjun, vice president of CSR, CSR will make joint efforts with Chengdu to establish “CSR Chengdu Industrial Base” in the future.

CSR wins bid on Suzhou Subway Line 2 project and receives an order

Not long ago, CSR won the bid on Suzhou Subway Line 2 project and was awarded a vehicle contract. The order includes 23 trains including 115 cars, which are marshaled in 5 sections 2 power trucks and 3 trailer trucks. It is the second time that CSR has received a vehicle order from Suzhou rail transit since 2010 when it took the first order for Suzhou Subway Line 1 project. 

Suzhou Subway Line 2 runs from south to north, connects Beijing-Shanghai Express Railway and Suzhou Northern Station. Its main track starts in Taiping section station in Xiangcheng District and ends at South Yingchun Road Station, with a total length of 26.6km. Along the way, there are 22 stations, 5 overheat stations and 17 underground stations.

The vehicle for Suzhou Subway Line 2 adopts the B-type all-welded aluminum alloy car body structure independently designed by CSR, tight lock couplers with elastic plaster buffer, electric sliding doors as doors in passenger room, internal-mounted translation doors for driver’s cab, energy saving air conditioners with totally closed type rotating compressor, LED lights, advanced and well developed microcomputer-controlled analog braking system, and PW80E-Ⅱbogie which is independently designed by CSR Puzhen Company.

According to the contract, the first train for Suzhou Subway Line 2 will be subject to all tests and delivered to the Employer before May 30, 2013 and 20 trains, before February 20, 2014. By April 30, 2014, all of the 23 trains will be received and ready to operate on the line. In June, 2014, they will be officially put into operation.


Self-discharging Wagon With the World’s Largest Capacity Is Exported to Australia

A few days ago, the self-discharging wagon stone fragment hopper wagon with the world’s largest capacity and most advanced technical performance that was designed and manufactured by CSR Yangtze Co., Ltd. passed acceptance check from the customer and is going to be sent to Australia. The wagon is 32.5t in axle load and 29.1t in dead load, with a carrying capacity of 100. It is a wagon especially tailored for Australia’s FNG.

According to the source, the wagon adopts technology integrating pneumatic, hydraulic, electric and mechanical technologies and wireless remote segment discharging control system and has made innovations in car body structure, frame materials and welding technology. In addition, it is provided with hypodynamic bogie of excellent performance, which gives it such features like uniform load for each wheel, light unsprung weight and good diamond rigidity resistance. Compared to other domestic and international stone fragment hopper wagons of its kind, the wagon has large load yet low coefficient of dead weight and its comprehensive technology and performance has reached international advanced level.

“Especially the segment discharging system. It allows wireless remote control, which improves remarkably operation quality and efficiency and is good for the health and safety of the operators. It has a good application prospect at both home and abroad.” According to the responsible person of the company, the first batch, including 12 wagons, will be soon transported to Port of Shanghai and then to Australia in cargo ships.

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