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 7,500 miles 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 225 miles.
The operator had ambitious plans for a service that would initially run at speeds of 156 mph, significantly reducing travel times, with a future design operating speed of 187.5 mph. Unusually, a capability to run occasional lower speed trains with an axle load of 25 US Tons 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 ties fitted with Pandrol Fastclip fastenings.