China to buy KHI bullet trains

BEIJING (Kyodo) China’s Ministry of Railways has concluded a contract to buy 140 bullet trains from a Chinese train maker affiliated with Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., sources said Monday.

In the deal worth about 45 billion yuan (¥604 billion), China will buy the trains that can run at 350 kph from Nanche Sifang Locomotive, which has a technology licensing agreement with Kawasaki Heavy, the sources said.

The trains will be manufactured using Kawasaki Heavy’s technology for Hayate trains, which are used on the Tohoku Shinkansen Line. In China they will run between Beijing and Shanghai and Beijing and Guangzhou starting in the first half of next year.

Japanese railway-related manufacturers that produce motors, brakes and other parts may also benefit from the contract, the sources said.

China began high-speed train services between Beijing and Tianjin last year and is building up similar lines in other parts of the country.

It has also placed orders to a Chinese train maker affiliated with Germany’s Siemens AG.