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Comparative Advantages of China’s High-speed Railway in the Global Market

Compared to the countries with advanced high-speed railway technology such as Japan, France and Germany, Chinese high-speed railway has its own advantages in the global market, which includes system integration technology, safety and speed, survey, design and construction, construction duration and cost, government supporting, scientific research team, etc.

1. The comparative advantages of system integration technology of China's high-speed railway

In accordance with the “advanced, mature, economic, applicable and reliable” technical guidelines, from the beginning on, referring to the advanced technologies of high-speed railway in the world and adhering to the original innovation, integrated innovation and the absorption and innovation of introduced technology, as the idea of nationalization of core technologies and key equipments including the key breakthrough of integrated system design, construction management and system debugging & commissioning and other key areas, China's high-speed railway has formed a high-speed railway technology platform and technology system with independent intellectual property rights.
China high speed railway

In aspect of line design, China's high-speed railway fully considers the factors of speed level, line selection conditions, operation safety, passenger comfort and construction costs and others, which construction standards are consistent with the international standard. The CRTS I and CRTS II slab track technology, double blocks type of non-ballasted track technology, non-ballasted slab track technology for turnout are mature and reliable, type III of non-ballasted track technology, high-speed non-ballasted track maintenance technology are leading in the world with independent intellectual property rights.

On the base of digestion, absorption and re-innovation after introduction of EMU technology, China has a comprehensive grasp of 9 core technologies of assembly, car body, bogie, traction transformer, traction converter, traction control system, train network control system for high-speed EMU and has established two technical platforms of 200-250km/h and 300-350km/h for high-speed train with independent intellectual property rights. The newest CRH380A high-speed train, which is known as the "land flight", reaches the maximum test speed of more than 400km/h and the maximum operating speed of 350km/h.

In addition, in order to cope with complex and harsh weather conditions and geographical environment, China has designed its own anti-cold, windproof and anti-sand, anti- high temperature, anti-high humidity various types of trains. Over the years, the operation organization & command, the transportation organization of passenger &freight reaches the world's leading in high-speed railway technology.

2. The comparative advantages of safety and speed of China's high-speed railway

At present, in the rankings of the world's fastest operating speed of the 20 lines for high-speed railway, China won the top 6. In June 24, 2008, CRH train made in China from Beijing to Tianjin operated at the speed of 394.3km/h, which created the fastest speed record of China's high-speed railway. In December, 2011, test speed of CIT500 made in China reached 605km/h, which broke the fastest record France created. Now China's high-speed railway runs faster than that of France, Spain, Japan and other countries do, beginning to lead the world.

In terms of railway technology, China has built more than 1,000km seamless line, while Japan only hundreds of kilometers; China's high-speed railway track can still keep shape as difference in temperature achieves 100℃, while Germany and Japan has not mastered the technology yet.

3. The comparative advantages of survey, design and construction of China's high-speed railway

In process of railway survey and design, the global satellite positioning system, remote sensing, geographic information system technology, BIM technology has been widely used in China, which helps to realize the integration of survey and design and provides accurate and efficient data.

In the aspect of track-laying, China's high-speed railway, which operates at the speed of 350km/h, whole adopts non-ballasted track that has been resolved hundred-year life and other issues of slab track including crack resistance, static dynamic load resistance.

In the tunnel construction, China's high-speed railway has broken through technical problems of tunnel and underwater tunnel construction under complex geological and mountainous areas. The EMU trains can run and pass each other at the speed of 350km/h in the tunnel.

In bridge construction of high-speed railway, China has mastered the key technologies of large span bridge structure with non-ballasted track, dynamic response simulation of axle line and design and construction of bridge, etc. Chinese construction team has very rich experience in building sub-grade, bridge, tunnel, line, electricity, power, communication, signal, station, etc.
China high speed railway

4. The comparative advantages of construction duration and cost of China's high-speed railway

The construction period of China's high-speed railway is short, but the construction speed is twice faster than the other countries, which the international community is impressive of the experience of rapidly building large-scale high-speed railway network. Overall, the construction cost of China's high-speed railway is 1/3 or 2/3 as much as the average cost of the developed countries in the world. The World Bank believes that China's high-speed railway has lower construction costs, mainly for the following reasons:

  • a. Lower labor costs
  • b. Working enthusiasm of construction unit and equipment supply group: through the large construction project, China has accumulated a number of new technologies and production skills rapidly, which helps to develop a lot of competitive advantages of the resources and greatly reduces the costs.
  • c. Temporary beam field: along the line, China construction unit generally will set up temporary beam field for manufacturing viaduct components and then remove the beam field to another construction site adopting the method of laying the rail tracks, after the completion of one construction site. That will greatly reduce the cost of demolition and the cost of transportation and the occupation of farmland.
  • d. Huge amounts of business: use the way of amortization to buy the high cost of construction equipment that can be used for multiple projects, helping to reduce the project cost.
  • e. Industry chain helps reduce the cost: at present, China has the most full high-speed EMU manufacturing chain, and achieves product standardization, which makes the construction unit get the same quality of components at a lower price.

5. The comparative advantages of government strong support of China's high-speed railway

China government firmly supports high-speed railway to develop the global market. This is a significant advantage for Chinese railway enterprises. In western countries, they think that high-speed railway has the features of big investment, long construction period and slow returns, so they generally face big question and resistance. The strong support for the railway project from China government is conducive to the railway construction enterprises with professional expertise.

6. The comparative advantages of R&D team of China's high-speed railway

The rapid development of China's high-speed railway, it cannot come to true without the wisdom, hardworking spirit and strong capability of digestion and absorption of advanced technology and re-innovation of the R&D scientific team. From the beginning of 2004, Chinese research institutes, universities and engineering experts and researchers put into R & D innovation technology with great enthusiasm, finally broke the global technical barriers in 2007 and mastered of non-ballasted track technology with independent intellectual property rights.

Compared with the advanced countries, China's high-speed railway development started 20-30years later than them. The related research just started in 2004, the first Beijing-Tianjin intercity high-speed railway was put into operations in 2008, but in 2014 the total operation mileage of China's high-speed railway is over 16,000km. Its quick development, large scale, strong transport capacity has attracted worldwide attention. At present, China has carried out various forms of cooperation with more than 30 countries such as Turkey, Britain, Brazil, Russia, France, etc. The first “Out of China” railway construction project—Istanbul-Ankara high speed railway has been finished in 2014.
China high speed railway

Rapid development of China's high-speed railway has proved that high-speed railway research is developing faster than Japan, France, Germany and other western developed countries, strong strength of China research team has become huge support for “Out of China”.

The six comparative advantages of China's high-speed railway keep in connection and complement each other, which forms a powerful force. Facing the broad market in the world, “Out of China” strategy of China's high-speed railway will give the world new vitality, new impetus for world economic activity.

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