The world’s first 350-km/h high-speed freight train has rolled off the assembly line in China (according to the newspaper Renmin Ribao/People's Daily)
On 23 December 2020, following the threeyear intensive work, the world’s first high-speed freight train with a speed of 350 km/h rolled off the assembly line of the rolling stock plant in Tangshan, China. The train was developed by a research team led by CRRC Tangshan Co., Ltd. – a company specializing in the production of railway rolling stock. As compared to a high-speed passenger train, this train is significantly different in appearance - each section has two side loading doors of 2.9 meters wide, which provides convenient loading/unloading of goods.
In addition to its appearance, this train has many advantages, in particular, an increased ‘environmental adaptability’ and energy efficiency.
Large capacity. The high-speed electric train can operate at a speed of 350 km/h at an ambient temperature of –25 °C to +40 °C. It consists of 8 carriage sections (4 motor and 4 trailed) and has a carrying capacity of at least 110 tons and a capacity of at least 800 m3, and the utilization ratio of body space amounts to ≥85%.
Timeliness. As compared to the air and road transport, the electric trains are less exposed to the environmental impacts and meet the needs for high-speed transportation for medium and long distances (600-1500 km), while they are able to cover a distance of 1500 km in about 5 hours.
Low drag. The head part of the electric train has a bionic design based on the shape of a Chinese sturgeon skeleton. The tests performed in a wind tunnel have shown that, in comparison with conventional freight trains, the drag during the movement of an electric train is significantly lower, while the energy consumption per unit weight of the transported goods is only 8% of the energy consumption during the transportation by air.
Multifunctionality. The electric train can be equipped with ULD containers for various pur- poses, for example, isothermal ULD containers with a temperature control range from –24 °C to +8 °C.
The high-speed freight electric train is designed on the basis of the conventional high speed electric train technology used for passenger traffic at a speed of 350 km/h. In addition, its operation implies the use of the latest high-speed transportation technologies in the construction of railway tracks, including rails, in the rolling stock running gear, as well as in the intelligent loading and unloading systems.
The wide loading doors of wagons, standard ULD containers and a specialized floor for the transportation of goods increase the efficiency of loading and unloading operations in general and allow transporting heavy and bulky goods at high speeds with the ability to track them along the route.
In recent years, with the fast-developing e-commerce, the demand for freight transportation has also grown significantly. The production and commissioning of high-speed trains for the transportation of goods at a speed of 350 km/h will meet the growing demand for transportation and optimize the logistics schemes, thereby ensuring the creation of a modern logistics system.