This is China: Chinese Speed. China's high speed rail breakthrough

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To see the future of high-speed rail, you need to go to China. There China Railway High-speed (CRH) services hurtle at up to 350 km per hour between Shanghai and Beijing. The latest generation of Chinese-designed Fuxing, or Rejuvenation, trains close the 1,318 km distance in as little as 4 hours and 18 minutes.

A Chinese high speed train going over a bridge. Still taken from RTD documentary Chinese Speed  in the This  is China series.
China's high-speed rail network is the largest in the world and covers most of its highly populated areas.

But it’s not just China’s new generation trains that are breaking speed records. The country’s high-speed rail network was practically non-existent a decade ago. Since 2007, China has built from scratch the largest high-speed rail network in the world, so that it now has more tracks than all of the other national systems combined. With a similar size to the continental United States, it is planning to add 9,000 km of track by 2025, to reach 38,000 km. Meanwhile, high-speed rail veterans France and Japan can only boast around 2,700 km of track each.

In a Chinese high speed train, a female attendant guides a trolley with food.  Still taken from RTD documentary Chinese Speed  in the This is China series.
China's high-speed trains offer comfortable and reasonably priced seats... and the all-important Wi-fi.

To get a taste for speed and understand why China has launched a new cultural revolution in transport, RTD heads for the fourth largest country on earth. 

There, Olga Galperovich, a Belarusian radio reporter, hops on board a Fuxing train on the Beijing to Shanghai line for a work assignment, showing how close the country’s political and economic capitals have become. It’s not just up-and-coming professionals who benefit, however. Rural pensioner Tai Chzhitszyun, at last, gets the chance to take a trip down memory lane, thanks to a new line linking the nearby town of Hanchun on China’s northern border and the city of Chanchun, which uses the first-generation Hexie (Harmony) high-speed trains.

Before taking his first journey on one of China's high speed trains, a Chinese grandfather says goodbye to his granddaughter and daughter.Still taken from RTD documentary Chinese Speed  in the This is China series.
China's new high-speed network is changing the country's landscape and the lives of ordinary Chinese families.

Those who drive, make and design the trains explain the challenges of their work, and share their feelings about China’s great continental railway journey. Since time doesn’t stand still, we also find out about the next steps in train design and learn how China’s rail ambition is even crossing borders.

At a Chinese high speed train manufacturing plant, two welders wearing protective helmets are producing sparks.  Still taken from RTD documentary Chinese Speed  in the This is China series.
For its first-generation Harmony high-speed trains, China relied on technology transfers from abroad, but its newest Rejuvenation trains have been designed at home.

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