China approves 25 urban rail projects to boost economy

China's top economic planning agency has approved 25 urban rail projects that could be worth more than 800 billion yuan (126.98 billion U.S. dollars).

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on Wednesday announced the approvals of project plans and feasibility reports for the 25 projects in cities including Shijiazhuang, Taiyuan, Lanzhou, Guangzhou and Xiamen, according to the NDRC's website.

The move marks the government's latest effort to stabilize economic growth when external demand remains weak as the U.S. economy has been struggling to gain traction and Europe is slipping toward a recession, Xu Changle, professor of regional economics at the East China Normal University.

China's economy grew by 7.6 percent year on year in the second quarter of 2012, its slowest pace in three years, official data shows.

Forty Chinese cities will have subway systems by 2020, bringing the total track length to 7,000 km, 4.3 times the current length, according to the China Association of Metros, an organization under the direct supervision of the NDRC.

Railroad equipment manufacturers and construction companies will be the major beneficiaries of the approved infrastructure spending, Xu said.

Boosted by the news, CSR Corp., the country's biggest train maker, gained 4.13 percent to 4.04 yuan as of 11 a.m.











Bombardier Chinese order is adjusted

MOR has decided to "vary its original order of 80 very high speed trains from 2009 to include 70 eight-car BOMBARDIER ZEFIRO 380 trains, 46 ZEFIRO 250 stainless steel trains and 60 ZEFIRO 250NG trains," the company said. This variation offers MOR increased flexibility in delivering its passenger services. The original contract value from 2009 remains unchanged, Bombardier says.

The 70 ZEFIRO 380 trains are designed to operate at speeds of up to 380 km/h (235 mph), incorporating among other items Bombardier's Flexx Speed bogie, developed especially for this high-speed application. The trains also will be powered by the MITRAC propulsion and control system.

ZEFIRO 250 trains already are operating in various parts of China, with 1,200 cars currently in service.

Anders Lindberg, president Mainline and Metros, Bombardier Transportation, said, "This variation order supports the global strategic shift towards rail as the backbone of national transportation infrastructure. Our ZEFIRO family of high speed trains plays a crucial role in China's development of a fully interconnected transport system that eases congestion and boosts the economy."

Jianwei Zhang, president of Bombardier China, said, "China has a clear vision of the role the world's largest high speed rail network will play in supporting sustainable transportation for the 21st century. The country is selecting the most advanced technologies to build a network that offers not only high speed but also unprecedented operating efficiency, reliability, and capacity."





Hong Kong, China shares eke out first gain in three days

Hong Kong and China shares had their first gains in three sessions on Thursday, helped by gains for infrastructure stocks after Chinese state media said the country's top planning agency approved more than $110 billion worth of railway projects.

But turnover remained lackluster ahead of the European Central Bank meeting later in the day, U.S. payrolls data on Friday and fresh China data over the weekend. Attention has turned to central banks for easing cues, with first half corporate earnings mostly out of the way.

The CSI300 Index of the top Shanghai and Shenzhen listings rose 0.8 percent from a 3-1/2-year closing low on Wednesday. The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.7 percent.

The Hang Seng Index gained 0.3 percent to 19,209.3, returning above the 50 percent Fibonacci retracement of its rise from June lows to August highs, at about 19,440.1. It slipped below this chart level on Wednesday.

"It's fashionable to be bearish right now, but I think investors should be positioned for a short-term bounce, particularly in the mainland markets," said Hong Hao, chief strategist at Bank of Communications International Securities.

"At least one of ECB, the Fed or PBOC (People's Bank of China) will move to ease policy in some way in the near term," Hong added.

Thursday's news reports about approval of 25 rail projects that could be worth more than 700 billion yuan ($110.3 billion)bolstered the Chinese railway sector.

Investors see the sector, which has outperformed the broader market this year, as benefitting from Beijing's preferred way of bolstering growth -- by increasing infrastructure investment.

China Railway Construction soared 6.5 percent in Hong Kong and 4.2 percent in Shanghai. It is now up 49.3 percent in Hong Kong this year, compared with the Hang Seng's 4.2 percent gain and an 8.7 percent loss on the China Enterprises Index.

Beijing has cut bank reserve requirements three times since November and interest rates twice in a four-week period spanning June and July. However, it has ignored calls for further easing despite data pointing to a seventh quarter of slowing economic growth.

Policy inaction was one reason Goldman Sachs analysts trimmed their forecasts of short-term returns from Chinese equities on Thursday, following Credit Suisse earlier this week.

Goldman analysts also moved China from "overweight" to "market weight" on an Asian regional basis, trimming their three-month target for the CSI300 to 2,350, about 6 percent higher from the current 2217.8 level.

They also cut their three-month target for the China Enterprises Index of the top Chinese listings in Hong Kong to 9,100, only 0.3 percent higher than Thursday's close of 9,069.4.


Shares of Lenovo Group clawed back some of Wednesday's big losses, rising 3.9 percent to HK$6.36 after the company agreed late on Wednesday to buy Brazilian electronics maker CCE, betting that Brazil's promising consumer market can counter slowing profit growth in China, its biggest market.

However, gains were capped by chart resistance at HK$6.39, the lower end of a gap that opened up when Lenovo plunged 7.6 percent on Wednesday after NEC sold its stake.

Shares of Chinese automaker Brilliance slumped 6.7 percent to HK$7.04 after its parent sold a 2.49 percent stake at HK$7.17 per share.

The Macau casino sector was broadly weaker, with Sands China shedding 3.1 percent and Wynn Macau sliding 4.7 percent. Traders said revenue from baccarat, the sector's top money spinner, was weakening.







China to boost spending on rail, health

China has rolled out a series of plans for infrastructure spending, aiming to boost confidence that the government is committed to keeping economic growth from sagging further.

The Ministry of Railways has boosted its target for railway construction this year to 496 billion yuan (S$97.5 billion), up from the previous target of 470 billion yuan, the China Daily reported, citing an industry executive. Last year, it spent 461 billion yuan.

The Ministry of Health has earmarked 400 billion yuan of spending by 2020 on systems, equipment and training upgrades to meet its goals to tackle chronic diseases, the newspaper added.

The reports follow a spate of announcements made by city governments in inland China on their spending plans.

Analysts said that the reports help to give an impression of government action as economic data indicate that China is well into a seventh straight quarter of slowing growth.






China CNR Announces First High-Speed Rail Sales to Europe With Siemens Deal

Beijing-based CNR put the contract value at 91 million yuan ($14 million), which a company executive said includes components used in the roofing, floors and walls of aluminum-alloy train cars. Siemens confirmed it will import CNR-made body shell components for a single project that will be assembled in Germany.

"It's the first time China CNR will export key components for high-speed trains to Europe," said the CNR executive, who asked not to be named.

Siemens confirmed the deal in a brief statement in response to questions, saying it has sourced "raw components" from China for years.

"Due to the current shortage of production capacity in our German site, we decided to source combined body shell components by CNR for a single project," said the statement. "The final assembly work will be done in Germany. The current contract is limited to this single order. No further agreements have been signed with CNR so far."

A Siemens spokeswoman said she didn't have information about how or where the railway equipment will be deployed.

Even a small foothold in western markets for high-speed rail equipment represents a step forward for China's train makers, which have outfitted the world's largest such system at home but so far had export ambitions thwarted by questions about quality of workmanship.

Events over the past year have battered the Chinese railway industry's image, including corruption allegations against top railway officials, electronic malfunctions on its most-vaunted lines and a collision of two high-speed trains that killed 40 people near the city of Wenzhou.

Siemens has established links with China's railway system. It built China's first high-speed railway line, between Beijing and Tianjin, ahead of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, and is credited with a short system near Shanghai's airport that runs on magnetic levitation.

Yet in recent years, Chinese regulations have made it difficult for foreign companies to take full advantage of the country's adoption of high-speed railway systems. Local Chinese companies, often relying in part on imported technology, are the primary suppliers of railway equipment.

China's big market for railway equipment, analysts say, represents a growing competitive advantage for its railway equipment industry, which is largely government owned and well capitalized.

Companies like CNR and rival China CSR Ltd. began building a high-speed rail system over the past decade using imported technology but increasingly claim proprietary systems that are deployed on the world's longest such system. 




China expands train exports to Kazakhstan

China's train exportation towards Kazakhstan are picking up speed, as a Chinese company sold another train with 50 EM70-type carriages this week to the central Asia country, said an official statement Sunday.

The statement posted on the website of Ministry of Railways said that a subsidiary of China CNR Corporation Limited, one of the country's two major train makers, has sold a total of eight trains with 400 EM70 carriages to Kazakhstan during the last two weeks.

The company's train exports to Kazakhstan will add up to 2,000 carriages this year, according to the statement, adding that all these carriages were made in northeast China's city of Harbin.

EM70 is a new type of train carriage specially designed for cargo transportation with hopper door.

High speed rail may need to be rebuilt
A Chinese train maker said Wednesday it will sell components to German engineering giant Siemens, in what will be the first time Chinese high-speed train parts have been exported to Europe.

The deal, reportedly worth more than 11 million euros ($13.6 million), will see parts including some aluminium-alloy car bodies shipped to Europe, said an official with the state-owned China CNR Corporation Limited.

He said it marks the first time that such Chinese train parts will be exported to the continent.

"(Siemens) will place more orders as long as the first order passes their checks," said the official, who declined to be named. "They are likely to make China a regular supplier of such parts."

China has built the world's largest high-speed rail system from scratch in less than a decade, but the railway ministry has been accused of overlooking safety in its rush to develop the country's vast transport network.

According to an agreement signed in April, a subsidiary of the Chinese company was to produce high-speed train parts worth 11.55 million euros for Siemens this year.

Officials at Siemens in Beijing were not immediately available for comment when contacted by AFP Wednesday.

The train car bodies are "one of the nine key technologies" in the manufacturing of high-speed trains as there are strict requirements for the welding of aluminium alloy to achieve precise sizes, said the CNR official.

The reputation of China's high-speed trains was tarnished after a bullet train collision in July last year near the eastern city of Wenzhou killed at least 40 people and injured hundreds.

In the weeks following the accident, authorities announced a halt to new train projects and introduced new speed restrictions on bullet train lines.

An accident report released late last year blamed design flaws and poor management for the crash, which sparked public fury and worries over the safety of the nation's rail system.

Part of the newly built Harbin-Dalian high speed railroad connecting Northeast China's Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning provinces is now facing reconstruction due to roadbed deformation, an expert said on Tuesday.

Wang Mengshu, chief engineer of the China Railway Tunnel Group and academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, told the Global Times that certain parts of the railroad were not initially designed properly.

"In regions where the temperature varies greatly around the year, frost heaving becomes a major problem in construction," said Wang. "Designers need to pay extra attention to the amount of water in the roadbed. Too little water reduces roadbed strength, while too much water could cause deformation."

Wang said a certain part of the Harbin-Dalian line, the first of its kind in Northeast China, was designed to avoid building tunnels for the purpose of reducing cost, causing the railroad to travel through ravines where rain water can easily accumulate and damage the roadbed.

An anonymous expert from the Ministry of Railways made similar comments and added that 70 percent of the ballastless track, a type of track specially required by high speed lines, was built on a viaduct to help drain water. Some 20 percent of the track built directly on the ground roadbed has seen different levels of deformation, reported Economy & Nation Weekly on Sunday.

The Harbin-Dalian high speed railroad is currently the northernmost high speed line in China with temperatures dropping to as low as -40 C in the area.









China develops 10-mln-watt electric locomotive

A major Chinese train maker announced Monday it has developed an electric locomotive with "the world's highest power."

The power, which reaches 10,000 kilowatts, is the world's highest for an electrical locomotive. This compares to the maximum 6,400-kilowatts power for traditional locomotives, according to a spokesman of Datong Electric Locomotive Co., Ltd., maker of the railway vehicle.

The company is a subsidiary of China North Locomotive and Rolling Corp. Ltd. (CNR), the country's second-largest train maker.

Designed with a maximum speed that can reach 120 km per hour, the locomotive can carry an estimated 100 railway carriages each weighing 80 tonnes, more than double that of a traditional locomotive, the spokesman said.

Datong Locomotive has developed six types of large-power electric locomotives and become the first Chinese business to export such products to Europe.








Cold-resistant subway train ready for service

A Chinese company built a cold-resistant subway train on Tuesday, expecting to put the train into operation in northeast China's city of Harbin by the end of the year, the company said.

The train, which features cold-resistant materials and inert gases in its design, can operate in temperatures as low as minus 38 degrees Celsius, according to a subsidiary of China CNR Corporation Limited, one of the country's two major train manufacturing companies.

The train is also the lightest aluminum subway train ever produced in China, the company said.

The train will be used in Harbin, provincial capital of Heilongjiang province, by the end of 2012, the company said.









Fujian speeds up push for comprehensive railway system

The Longyan-Xiamen Railway, the third high-speed railway in Fujian province, began operations on June 29, 2012. Fujian’s railway system is growing at a dramatic rate, with each year welcoming a new rail line. The province now has 2,000 miles of railway track, with 2,000 miles under construction and 2,000 more planned.

The tourism departments of Xiamen, Zhangzhou and Longyan are trying to synthesize their tourism resources into a single complex, incorporating the ocean in Xiamen, forests in Zhangzhou and earth buildings in Longyan. The opening of the Longyan-Xiamen Railway has shortened travel time. It now takes less than 1.5 hours to travel from Xiamen to Longyan, which is especially convenient for tourists.

High-speed railways invigorate tourism of cities along rail lines. After the opening of the Wenzhou-Fuzhou Railway on Sept 28, 2009, Taimu Mountain, Baishuiyang and Sanfang Qixiang (Three Lanes and Seven Alleys) saw an increase in tourism. The Fuzhou-Xiamen Railway, which began running in April 2010, also turned Meizhou Island, Qingyuan Mountain and Gulang Island into hot spots.

According to the plan, Fujian will establish a railway system composed of three longitudinal, six lateral and nine ring rail lines. By 2015, the overall mileage of Fujian railways will reach 5,000 miles and will cover more than 90 percent of counties and towns.

The highly anticipated Xiangtang-Putian Railway will start rolling on Sept 30, 2013 and will shorten travel time from Nanchang to Fuzhou from 11 hours to 3.5 hours.

 China's first Metro train fit for icy weather

China's first Metro train designed for operation in extremely cold weather rolls out of the plant in Changchun, Jilin Province today. The six-car train has a top speed of 80kph and will be delivered to Harbin City in China's northernmost province of Heilongjiang where it will undergo test run in the city's new subway.




Vice Mayor of Zhuzhou City - He Jianbo and some city leaders visited us

Vice Mayor of Zhuzhou City - He Jianbo and some city leaders visited the company - encouraged the company to seize opportunity to bigger and stronger track amusement equipment and energy-saving & environmental protection industry

Chairman of the Company - Li Tiesheng (second from left) is doing brief company induction for Vice Mayor He (first from left)






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