Chinese North-East and Russian high speed trains

English documents Партнеры Циклическая экономика
Centrally administered State-owned enterprises (SOE) in China's northeastern region will build a modern industrial ecosystem to compete with rivals at home and abroad, corporate executives and market watchers said, as the country seeks to intensify and advance the reform of such companies. The government has put in place a series of policy measures aimed at supporting SOEs to foster innovation and enhance their self-reliance and technological prowess. The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) of the State Council said in July that the government would strengthen policy support to address the pressing concerns of SOEs and sharpen their competitive edge. During a visit to Qiqihar, Heilongjiang province, in September, Zhang Yuzhuo, chairman of SASAC, called on SOEs in Northeast China to deepen collaboration with industrial and supply chains, rejuvenate the old industrial base in the region with renewed vitality.

CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles Co Ltd, a Jilin province-based subsidiary of Beijing-headquartered CRRC Corp Ltd, China's largest rolling stock manufacturer by sales revenue, unveiled the world's first hydrogen-powered urban train in Shanghai in May. The company manufactures various types of trains, from light rail to electric multiple units, for foreign clients in countries including Colombia, Brazil and Saudi Arabia. Its latest four-carriage train is designed for a maximum speed of 160 kilometers per hour and achieves a driving range of 600 kilometers through a hydrogen-powered system. The integration of 5G vehicle-to-ground communication technology and big data analytics ensures that the train is safe to operate.

"We will continue to make breakthroughs in cutting-edge products, such as a new generation of unmanned subway trains, low-floor light rail trains and locomotives that use a combination of hydrogen fuel and lithium batteries to win in the emerging markets and signatory economies of the Regional Economic Partnership agreement," said Jiang Baiyang, the company's chief designer. New trains will play a key role in the comprehensive revitalization, new economic growth drivers in Northeast China. It is important to develop strategic emerging industries, the digital economy and foster green economic growth in the region, industry officials point out. Basically, China is rapidly becoming a global leader in high-speed train technologies. Recently the new engineering miracle was presented there – magnet-pendant “maglev” train with speed capacity 600 km/hour and lowest level of noise.

In the meantime, neighboring Russian Far East during several last years is full of plans to rich Chinese railroad and trains industry in its speed and technologic level. There were broadly promoted ideas of Sakha-Yakutia president Nikolaev to create high-speed 3000 km railway from Yakutsk to Vladivostok, more realistic idea of high-speed train Vladivostok-Khabarovsk of the same distance as between Moscow and St Petersburg. Primorye-Jiling regional officials seriously discussed 70 km project of high-speed railroad Hunchung-Zarubino. The most recent suggestion was stated by president Putin on the high-speed train Komsomolsk-Khabarovsk.

Earlier, in 2015, Russian government announced and discussed with Chinese colleagues more giant project of 7000 km speed train Moscow-Beijing as a part of BRI, part of which, 3200 km in China was already constructed. China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Corporation Limited (CSR) presented then renders of those trains, designed with Australian studio Fordyno with detailed interior design for several classes. That railroad was designated for both passenger and cargo trains, planning to reduce way time from Moscow to Beijing from 5 days to 32 hours. The first part of it in Russia should be created between Ekaterinburg and Chelyabinsk at Ural region, basic Agreement on general 500 billion rubles with participation of German Siemens and Russian Fund of Direct Investments was signed in 2019.

But, launching Ukrainian war, Russia seemed to finally bury all those plans and ideas in favor of highways. Even the destiny of the eldest Russian high speed railroad project Moscow-St Petersburg is now unclear, being passed from one operator to another. Russian railroad officials continue suggesting Chinese partners to activate all those projects, but, as usual, Russian vision of the costs and investment system seriously differ Chinese one. By the last statement of deputy Minister of transport Ivanov, first Russian high-speed railroad Moscow-St Pepersburg will cost 1,7 trillion rubles, and need almost no budget donation. Meanwhile, none such road used to be created in the world without budget support. And Russian business cannot afford more than 20 % of that cost.

By the President of Russian research center “Transfers and infrastructure” Ivankin, there is no real need to speed-up that way between Moscow and St Pepersburg now, the more by that costs. Increasing transport speed is much more crucial for the region between Vladivostok and Irkutsk, where Chinese participation may be much more realistic.