August 12, 2011 · 0 Comments
Beijing: China will suspend approvals of new railway projects and conduct safety checks on all current projects after a deadly train crash last month, the government said in a statement on its website on Wednesday.
The government said it will also reduce the speed of some high-speed rail lines that recently started operating, citing a meeting presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao. China will also reassess the safety of rail projects approved for construction.
Two high-speed trains crashed in the eastern province of Zhejiang on July 23, killing 40 people and prompting the removal of at least three top Shanghai Railway Bureau officials. China plans to spend 2.8 trillion yuan (Dh1.6 trillion) extending its high-speed rail networks to 120,000 kilometres from 91,000 kilometres by 2015.
The railway ministry has dispatched 47 teams of 180 people for “all-out” safety inspections, the official Xinhua News Agency said yesterday, citing Minister Sheng Guangzu. The speed of trains running 350 kilometres an hour will be reduced to 300 kilometres an hour, and those operating at 250 kilometres an hour will be cut to 200 kilometres an hour, Xinhua said. Ticket prices will be lowered to reflect slower speeds, according to Xinhua.
The July collision occurred near Wenzhou when a train lost power after being struck by lightning and was rear-ended by a second train, Xinhua said, citing the provincial emergency office.
By Emma Brown