The world’s fastest driverless bullet train has launched in China. This train will connect the Chinese cities of Beijing and Zhangjiakou. It is capable to reach a top speed of up to 217mph (350km/h). This has made it the fastest autonomous train in operation.
The travel time with the launch of this new service will reduce from Beijing to Zhangjiakou. It was launched in the build-up to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic games.
The trains will follow a precise timetable as they will start and stop at stations automatically. They will change speed depending on the limits between stations. But, a monitoring attendant will be on board in emergency cases.
The line is also known as the Jingzhang intercity railway. It took four years to complete and it has 10 stations that include Badaling Changcheng, for access to the Great Wall of China.
On 30th December the first train began operating running from Beijing to Taizicheng.
There are large storage areas for winter sports equipment for the cabins on the “smart” autonomous trains. The seats have 5G touchscreen control panels, intelligent lighting, thousands of real-time safety sensors and removable seats for travelers that are in wheelchairs.
Rail expert Mark Smith of the website the Man in Seat 61 said, “While we argue about HS2, China has created a nationwide high-speed network. China’s high-speed lines are ruthlessly efficient – once booked, a swipe of your ID card or passport at the ticket gates is all you need to travel.”
Adding, “You may prefer to return on one of the classic ‘S2’ trains on the Imperial Peking-Kalgan Railway, built-in 1905-1909 and engineered by the father of Chinese Railways, Zhan Tianyou. The new high-speed line goes underground in the vicinity of the Great Wall, while the classic route goes overground along the Guan valley, with great views of the Wall on the way.”