CHINA ACADEMY of Railway Sciences signed a co-operation agreement with Japan’s Railway Technical Research Institute on January 28 covering the joint development of automatic train control for a possible Chinese high-speed line. The ´150m project to equip the CARS test track near Beijing with ’digital ATC’ by August will be funded by the two organisations and Japanese signalling suppliers, Nippon Sharyo, Keisan and Daido.

High-speed trials are already under way on the CARS test track. A Shaoshan 8 electric loco and three prototype coaches built by Puzhen Rolling Stock Works and fitted with Changchun-developed CW-2A bogies set a Chinese record speed of 212·6 km/h on January 5.

HChina’s Ministry of Railways has also reached an agreement with a Japanese group to boost international rail freight traffic. The Ministry’s wholly-owned freight subsidiary Zhongguo Teilu Duiwai Fuwu Gongsi will sign the formal agreement with Kukusai Kamotsu Tetsudo System, a grouping of JR-Freight, Nippon Express, All Japan Express Co and other Japanese shippers. The new joint venture will provide sea-rail services between Japan and China as well as domestic freight services within China. It will also bid for through container and parcel traffic from Japan to Vietnam, Mongolia, Kazakstan and Russia. o