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It’s got a “running band” that’s orange, not blue, but it’s still a CRH train: the new CRH6 trainset, an electric multiple unit train made specifically for lower-speed local intercity train services, took to the rails on 30 March 2016.
The first 8 trains of this kind entered service from Xiaojinkou and Changping East (Changpingdong) stations on the new Guangzhou-Dongguan-Shenzhen Intercity Railway. The trains are faster than a regular city metro train and are also approaching HSR train in terms of comfort. They also start and stop faster than regular HSR trains, making them ideal for local and regional intercity lines.
A third of the 24 CRH6 trains on this new line are faster, 200 km/h (125 mph) trains; the others are slower, 160 km/h (100 mph) trainsets. The 8-car trainsets can hold up to 1,488 persons and can run automatically under the supervision of a driver. These trains run on lines that have more local stops and connect more of larger metropolitan areas. A nationwide network of up to 10,000 km (6,250 miles) of intercity lines are planned, which will make high speed services “more accessible” locally.
For the moment, though, service on the new line serving Guangzhou, Dongguan, and Shenzhen, will be more an exception than the rule, as “only” 14 trains (7 per direction) will run on a daily basis. The new line opened has 10 stations over 58.1 km (36⅓ miles), but is only a rather small part of the larger network of 2,000 km (1,250 miles) of intercity railways around the Pearl River Delta area.