Tests of the first Chinese-standard bullet train began in Beijing on Tuesday as the country moves toward replacing all foreign-standard models with the domestically developed version, a senior official said.
"The new bullet train has been developed based on our own standards and technologies and is designed to be better adapted to China's environment and rail transport patterns," said He Huawu, an academic at the Chinese Academy of Engineering and chief engineer of China Railway Corp.
"We will gradually replace all in-service bullet trains with this new type. The move will greatly reduce our production, operational and maintenance costs."
The trains currently running on the country's high-speed rail network have been designed and built in accordance with various foreign standards.
This forces China Railway Corp to run a number of different support and maintenance programs for trains made to different specifications, keeping operating costs high. The lack of a Chinese-standard bullet train has hampered the nation's efforts to export its rail technology and products.
The former railway ministry, China Railway Corp's predecessor, launched a programme to develop Chinese-standard bullet trains in 2012 with engineers from 30 institutes and companies.
They were told to design trains that would be suitable for the many different types of terrain found in China while maintaining the highest quality standards.
"The new train, with our full intellectual property rights, will facilitate our efforts to export China's railway products and technologies," said He. "Compared with other models, it is safer, more comfortable and economically competitive."
Two prototypes with an operational speed of 350 km/h and a top speed of 400 km/h will undergo a wide range of tests at the China Academy of Railway Sciences in the capital over the next two months.
The trains will then cover 600,000 kilometers in trial runs on the Taiyuan-Yuanping section of the Datong-Xi'an high-speed line, said He.