Chinese products such as shoes, bags and lighters are usually considered low-end goods in overseas markets, but when it comes to high-speed rail equipments, Chinese bullet trains are being warmly welcomed by both foreign governments and corporate clients.
This is precisely why China Railway Rolling Stock Corp, the country’s largest train manufacturer, plans to deploy more resources and manpower in the global high-speed railway equipment market to fuel robust growth over the next decade.
CRRC was formed by the merger of China’s former top two train manufacturers－CNR Corp and CSR Corp in June, a major step in the government’s reform plan for State-owned enterprises, aimed at boosting international competitiveness and global orders.
Yu Weiping, CRRC’s vice-president, said his company is ready to contribute to a new high-speed rail culture in the United States, after it invested $60 million to build a new manufacturing facility to produce railcars in Springfield, Massachusetts last month. The company sealed a deal with Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to design and supply 284 cars for the Boston transit system’s Orange and Red lines.
Having inherited the whole business, technology and assets of CSR and CNR, CRRC is the largest railway equipment manufacturer in the world. High-speed electrical multiple units and self-propelled carriages are its pillar products.
The entire range of CRRC’s products has been exported to nearly 100 countries and regions throughout the world. Yu said the company’s next step is to gradually switch focus from product exports to capital and technology exports in the global market.
“With high-speed trains traveling at over 300 kilometers per hour, it will help the US end the dominance of automobiles in its ground commuting systems,” said Yu.
Zhao Ying, a researcher at the Institute of Industrial Economics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, said even though countries in Western and Central Europe have well-developed railway infrastructure and cross-border operations, countries such as the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Norway and Poland are on the lookout for high-speed trains and carriages to modernize rolling stock on certain routes.
“In many cases in Eastern and Southern Europe, rail coverage is not what it should be, and there are problems with infrastructure, and we are keen to supply them,” Yu from CRRC said. “We can also supply tram and metro trains in these areas.”
With train sales rising globally, CRRC will set up a joint research and development center with three British universities－Imperial College London, the University of Birmingham and the University of Southampton－to support its going global strategy.