In November 2005, the Chinese national railway “China Railways”, acting on behalf of the Ministry of Railways (MOR),ordered sixty 8-car high speed trains from Siemens, Figure 1. This order was followed in March 2009 by an order for components for a further one hundred 16-car trains. For both sets, it was agreed that a proportion of the trains will be produced in Europe, with the remainder being produced in China. The high requirements of the customer for localisation were thus met by a level of technology transfer between Siemens and various Chinese partners.

The high speed train CRH3 was developed on the basis of the multiple unit technology in the Velaro platform from Siemens that is already in use by Deutsche Bahn AG and the Spanish railway operator RENFE as well as the Russian state railway company RZD. The first set of trains was designed for a speed of 300 km/h, while the following expansion set will achieve 350 km/h. With a total length of approx. 200 m, the 8-car multiple units are 315 mm wider than the European variants despite running on a standard gauge track (total width: 3 265 mm).

They can accommodate 601 passengers and technical measures were taken to adapt them to high speed travel within the People’s Republic of China. One week before the start of the Summer Olympic Games in August 2008, the first 8-car trains began travelling on the Beijing-Tianjin high speed route. Since December 2009, they have been travelling the 1068 km long WuhanGuangdong route. The one hundred 16-car trains are intended to operate on the 1318 km long route between Beijing and Shanghai. Schaeffler Group Industrial supplies the axlebox bearings with swing arm housings for all the CRH3 high speed trains.

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