China’s experience guides international high-speed railway standards

A view of Honghe Bridge project of China-Laos Railway in Yuxi City of southwest China’s Yunnan Province, November 16, 2021. /CFP

A view of Honghe Bridge project of China-Laos Railway in Yuxi City of southwest China’s Yunnan Province, November 16, 2021. /CFP

The International Union of Railways published, for the first time, two international standards for high-speed railway infrastructure design and power supply, which were mainly drafted and developed by China.

Known by its French initials UIC, the union was founded in France in 1922. Being a 210-member international association, the UIC aims to promote global railway transportation and cooperation.

The two new standards published are the second and third in a series of high-speed railway design and construction standards, following UIC’s publishing of communication signals in high-speed railway design standard last November.

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Led by Chinese experts, more than 20 professionals from a dozen countries, including France, Germany, Japan and Spain, spent four years drafting the two standards.

According to China State Railway Group (CSRG), the new standards show China’s design concepts based on its global experience in building high-speed railways, promotes China’s advanced technologies such as power supply system, and provides solutions to designing and building high-speed railways globally.

China’s mega high-speed railway network on the rise

By the end of 2021, China’s high-speed railways’ operating mileage surpassed 40,000 kilometers, accounting for more than two-thirds of the world’s total.

The Chinese high-speed railways can be found in different geographical conditions, including icy weather, frozen soil, mountainous areas and humid coastal areas, providing abundant experience in building high-speed railways.

In recent years, experts from the CSRG have participated in drafting, revising and developing more than 60 important technical standards published by the UIC in many fields, including high-speed railways, train networks and braking systems.

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China’s involvement incorporated its experiences into international standards, such as design concepts, technical equipment and maintenance, as well as technologies and needs of other countries.

Huo Baoshi, chairman of UIC’s Intercity and High-Speed Committee, told the China Media Group that “international standards are an important technical foundation for international trade, which is crucial to promote the Belt and Road Initiative.”

“China’s railway sector has relied on the international platform to lead the drafting and revising of technical standards, improving the international influence of China’s railway standards.”

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