Power cut halts China's new high-speed train
Monday 11 July 2011
A power cut brought the new $33 billion high-speed rail link between Beijing and Shanghai to a standstill Sunday, Chinese railway authorities said, just 10 days after its high-profile launch.
Nineteen trains were halted for about 90 minutes when thunderstorms and heavy winds brought down the power supply to a section of the line at around 6pm (1000 GMT), the Beijing railway bureau said.
Passengers said lights went out and carriages quickly overheated as air conditioning systems in the trains stopped operating.
"The carriage is dark and sweltering. We can't afford power failures on the high-speed train," wrote one blogger who called himself Brother Jiabo, apparently posting from the train.
"Isn't it too fragile? Is this the so-called high technology?" another user wrote on a social networking site in response to the railway authority's statement.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao formally opened the new line, which halves the rail journey time between the two Chinese cities, on June 30, although it had been operating on a trial basis since mid-May.
He said the high-speed line - launched on the eve of celebrations to mark the 90th birthday of China's Communist Party - would be key to "improving the modern transport system... and satisfying people's travelling needs".
However, the huge investment in the new link has made the sector a hotbed for corruption, raising concerns over costs and safety.
China's state auditor in March said construction companies and individuals last year siphoned off 187 million yuan in funds meant for the Beijing-Shanghai link.
The revelation followed the February sacking of former railways minister Liu Zhijun, who allegedly took more than 800 million yuan in kickbacks over several years on contracts linked to China's high-speed network.
The official China Daily said Monday the power supply incident had raised fresh concerns over the safety of the landmark link, which opened a year ahead of schedule.
"Many micro-bloggers said they would not choose high-speed trains after this incident, as punctuality and the ability to operate regardless of the weather were meant to be its advantages," the paper said.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 5 'Isis' schoolgirls: Missing British teenager tweets picture of her Syrian takeaway
Business class to New York at economical prices - but will it fly?
French air-traffic controllers strike Q&A: When is the strike and which travellers will be affected?
A380 celebrates first decade in flight - but how long will the Superjumbo's time in the sky last?
The 10 Best lightweight luggage
The most powerful passports in the world
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
£15310 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has arisen for a...
£24000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Situated in the heart of Bradfo...
£18750 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Hotel in Chadderton is a popular ch...
£Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing and Co...