China is testing a Fuxing bullet train whose length and carrying capacity are double those of the current models, according to CRRC Tangshan Co, the developer.
The 415-meter-long train has 16 carriages, twice as many as trains already in operation, the company said in a news release. The units are undergoing final tests at the China Academy of Railway Sciences in Beijing, which focus on 28 major functions, including tractability, braking, network communications and aerodynamic performance.
The new train, which will have a designed speed of up to 350 kilometers per hour, will receive permits for manufacturing on a large scale if it passes all tests, according to the company, which is part of the State-owned China Railway Rolling Stock Corp.
The Fuxing - or Rejuvenation - is China's domestically developed new generation of bullet train. In September, the speed of the Fuxing model was increased to 350 km/h on the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway line, making it the fastest operating train service in the world.
According to its developer, the longer model is designed for long-distance and high-speed travel. More than 80 percent of the 254 major industrial standards under which it falls are Chinese, and are higher standards than in their Japanese and European counterparts.
The new model has made great progress in areas including reliability and energy conservation, and it reduces life-cycle costs below previous models, the company said.
Yang Hao, a professor at Beijing Jiaotong University who studies traffic and transportation, said the extended length of the Fuxing bullet train requires a more sensitive operating system, which in turn doubles its carrying capacity to more than 1,000 passengers.
"The longer model can also make better use of platforms in stations for high-speed trains," he said, noting that platforms are usually 650 meters long.
The Fuxing trains were put through their paces during this year's Spring Festival travel rush, which ended on Monday.
The Ministry of Transport announced on Monday that about 2.97 billion trips were made nationwide during the 40-day rush, roughly the same as last year.
During that time, 79 pairs of Fuxing trains saw service, covering up to 23 provincial capitals, according to a report by China Central Television.