This week, I thought I'd take a bit more time to write about a high speed electric multiple unit (EMU) from the other hemisphere.

To give you some very brief background, a decade or so ago, this country called China bought a whole whack of high-speed trains (among other passenger and freight equipment) from pretty much every major rail equipment manufacturer in the world (Siemens, Bombardier, Kawasaki, Alstom, and Toshiba). They didn't buy it normally though, like how one would put in a order, and a period of time later, some products would show up in shiny wraps. The Chinese bought very few finished products, but the license to use the technology and manufacture products from those companies with whatever equipment supplier they fancy. The feature rail related thingy of the week, the CRH380CL EMU, is a bit of a mash up of a lot of the aforementioned things China has bought from the Western World.

CRH380C-6301L”,作者Jwjy9597 - 自己的作品。采用CC BY-SA 3.0授权,来自维基共享资源

CRH380CL and CRH380BL in Beijingnan Railway Station.JPG
CRH380CL and CRH380BL in Beijingnan Railway Station”,作者Siyuwj - 自己的作品。采用CC BY-SA 3.0授权,来自维基共享资源

From the carbody design, you'd say it looked liked the Siemens Velaro, yes, it was based on the CRH3C, or the Siemens Velaro C (which is beautiful). The new nose design isn't exactly pleasant on the eye (IMHO anyway, but I'm no artist). Based on web entries on certain websites, the CRH380CL is equipped with supposedly beefed up trucks (or bogies for those you from the Old World) capable of sustained 380 km/h service, Hitachi traction motors, and Shinkansen style seating (i.e. they can turn 180 degrees and always face the direction of travel. This style of seating is standard on most high-speed trains in China regardless of their origin).

Inside a Class-2 cabin of CRH380CL.JPG
Inside a Class-2 cabin of CRH380CL”,作者Siyuwj - 自己的作品。采用CC BY-SA 3.0授权,来自维基共享资源

Every other car of the CRH380CL is powered, just like the Velaro. The total output for a 16-car trainset is 19 200 kW, or 25 750 hp. I did mention the 236 mph design maximum speed in service. In reality, high-speed trains are currently capped at 186 mph in China. Below is a little clip from YouTube of this train. I like the whining sounds of EMUs.


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