CRRC Sifang's Blue Dolphin CRH400AF prototype successfully completed an 18 month test programme last year. (Photo: wikimedia/N509FZ)

CHINA: The first CRH400AF China Standard EMU prototype developed by CRRC Qingdao Sifang was officially put into revenue service on the Beijing – Guangzhou high speed line on February 25, the company has confirmed to Railway Gazette.

Code-named Blue Dolphin, the eight-car trainset had successfully completed more than 600 000 km of trial running under a programme that began in June 2015. This saw the train operating up to 385 km/h on three routes, including sections of the Datong – Xi’an and Zhengzhou – Xuzhou high speed lines, as well as the older Dalian – Shenyang Passenger-Dedicated Line.

Following the test programme, the prototype was returned to the factory in Qingdao last October, where it was stripped down to assess the condition of key components. After this inspection the train was approved by China Railway Corp for commercial operation.

CRRC Chief Engineer He Huawu told Railway Gazette that the 350 km/h China Standard EMUs had demonstrated ‘good compatibility with relevant international standards’, adding that there had not been a single failure ‘due to manufacturing defects or wheel-rail interaction’.

Three types of China Standard EMUs have been developed by different manufacturers using standard specifications for locally-developed traction equipment, bogies and other key components. As well as the Blue Dolphin from Sifang, the CRH400BF Golden Phoenix has been developed by CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles and a third design by CRRC Tangshan.