In 2007 the Chinese Ministry of Railways (MOR) was engaged in building the first phase of its huge new high-speed network. This comprised more than 12,000 km of passenger dedicated lines (PDLs). One of the new lines – the KJ13/14 project – linked the central Chinese cities of Wuhan and Hefei, over a distance of 360 km.
The operator had ambitious plans for a service that would initially run at speeds of 250 km/hr, significantly reducing travel times, with a future design operating speed of 300 km/hr. Unusually, a capability to run occasional lower speed trains with an axle load of 25 tonnes on the same tracks was also required. A series of tenders were issued to find the supplier who would deliver high specification components for the line within the strict time and cost limits that applied. As a result of the competitive bidding process the majority of the line, which is ballasted track, was built with concrete sleepers fitted with Pandrol Fastclip fastenings.