China’s high speed trains are proudly made in Qingdao by CSR Sifang and Bombardier Transportation. Located in the northern reaches of Qingdao proper in Sifang (四方) district, the original company was called Sifang Locomotive and Rolling Stock.
A joint venture enterprise called Bombardier Sifang was founded in 1998 to make high speed trains for China and other countries around the world. The Chinese partner CSR Sifang Locomotive is part of the state-owned China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock Corporation (abbreviated as CSR) and the CSR Sifang moniker can now be seen on the CRH high speed trains for inter-city travel in China (Beijing-Tianjin, Shanghai-Hangzhou, Beijing-Qingdao, Shanghai-Nanjing to name a few) as well as the newer subway cars of the Beijing Subway and Guangzhou Metro.
The latest train, called the Zefiro (pictured above), has been tested to speeds of 380 kmh. For more information on CSR Sifang and its joint venture production with Bombardier, check out the “Relevant Links” below. China’s (and the world’s) high speed rail dreams start right here in Qingdao.
The future of China’s rail industry is being assembled amid a flurry of welding sparks in a sprawling CSR manufacturing complex in the port city of Qingdao. Called the CRH380A, the newest train is equipped with first-class seats that fold completely flat, and it can go up to 236 miles per hour. When it goes into service in 2012 linking Beijing and Shanghai, the train will cut travel time to four hours from 10, and will be part of a network that is expected to extend 9,700 miles by 2020.
CSR obtained Japanese high-speed technology starting in 2004 as part of a deal with Kawasaki. CSR engineers and executives say they have adapted and improved that technology to make trains that are faster and better. The fastest trains now operating in Japan and Europe run about 199 mph.
China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock Corporation
Bombardier Sifang Wins Large High Speed Train Contract
Sifang Locomotive on Sifang Government Website
CSR Trains For Foreign Railways
Meet the Train Makers: China
CSR Sifang and Bombardier Sifang Train Discussion (Photos)
Image Credits @ Bombardier Transportation