August 28 saw the introduction of faster trains between Kowloon and Guangzhou, cutting journey times for the 174 km non-stop journey from 105 to 90min and bringing the promise of increased capacity on this busy route.

Five round trips were providing the through service between the two cities up to that date, in addition to longer distance trains operating daily or alternate days in each direction. All these trains were hauled by diesel locomotives, but completion of electrification at 25 kV 50Hz between Shenzhen and Guangzhou has allowed two new electric trains to be introduced.

Kowloon-Canton Railway has invested HK$310m in its KCR Through Train (KTT). This consists of 12 double-deck coaches capable of carrying 1268 inter-city passengers in comfort (RG 4.77 p245). Built by Kinki Sharyo, the stainless steel cars have upper and lower saloons reached by stairs from end vestibules, to which there is near-level access from high platforms at KCR’s Hung Hom terminus and Guangzhou Dong station, the only two stations served.

Motive power is provided a pair of Lok 2000 electric locomotives supplied to KCR by Adtranz and SLM from Switzerland. Only one round trip a day is being operated at present, but the intention is to get three round trips (requiring 100% availability) on a daily basis; maintenance will be carried out at night.

The other new train is a 25 kV version of Sweden’s 200 km/h X2000 trainset which has been leased for a two year demonstration by Adtranz to the Guangzhou Railway Administration. This trainset, named Xinshisu, has six cars working in push-pull formation, and includes body tilting. Capacity is just over 400 passengers. o