China unveiled its longest passenger train prototype Friday, a 620 kph (390 mph) express that could eventually be used to whisk travelers between cities along China’s vast highways, the China Daily reported.
The nine-car train operated by a German company on Saturday afternoon at speeds of up to 310 kph (190 mph) with its battery-operated emergency braking system still disabled at least twice, the paper said. It said the prototype traveled the 1,476 kms (985 miles) from Changchun, in northeastern China, to Maoqiu in the central province of Henan.
China’s rail network is expected to span 17,000 kilometers (10,500 miles) by 2030, making it the world’s largest, with the express train the final link.
The prototype is part of China’s Project Belt and Road, an ambitious project to build land and sea trade routes linking Asia with Europe and Africa with railways, energy pipelines and other projects.
The new train will run only on sections of the 827-kilometer (518-mile) Beijing-Shanghai line that are under construction, the paper said.
China has invested in rail projects around the world and sometimes delayed them or forged partnerships only to cancel them. As part of the government’s plans to restructure the economy, the railway ministry has cut 20,000 jobs since 2017.