China orders trans to

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 August, 2011, 12:00am


After last month's terrible train crash, Beijing has ordered trains to run more slowly. The government did not say how slowly the high-speed trains should go. It just said that on new lines they should be slower for safety reasons.

Building the world's biggest high-speed railway has been a top goal for China. But the crash between two trains on July 23 killed 40 people. Citizens and the media were very angry.

China's Prime Minister, Wen Jia bao, has ordered safety checks on all the high-speed lines still being built and those already working.

The crash in July is being blamed on a signal failure. The signals were knocked out by lightning during a storm. One train stopped on the track and the other train was not warned. It crashed into the first train from behind, sending some coaches off a bridge.

It was the worst train crash in China since 2008.

Some people say China is moving to modernise too fast. Others say that train crashes happen in other countries too and no one makes such a big fuss over them.

China has been working very hard to open new railway lines. It has the fastest train in the world at 486 km/h between Beijing and Shanghai.

Government officials had already decided that the speed should be limited to 300 km/h earlier this year. The race to build the railway has not been without its troubles. The lines often suffer power cuts and trains are often late.

Rose says

I'm glad the trains will slow down. Everything seems to be going too fast in China. People will feel safer now.

Phillip says

Although it's terrible that an accident happened, they happen all the time. We will never invent new things if we let accidents stop us.

Five facts to know about trains

1 Chinese workers built the early railway system in the United States

2 In 2003 Shanghai launched the only commercial maglev train system in the world

3 Japan's famous bullet train system is called the Shinkansen

4 Shanghai's maglev train, which has no wheels and floats on magnets, is the fastest in the world, testing at 487 km/h

5 Theworld's firstpassenger railway service began in Wales in the UK in 1807