China's Recalled Bullet Trains to Resume Service

Bullet trains on China's showcase Beijing-to-Shanghai line that were recalled over safety concerns following a deadly crash on another line will gradually resume service from this week, Chinese state media reported Monday.

China's state-owned train maker, China CNR Corp., recalled 54 trains on the route on Aug. 12 following repeated delays blamed on equipment failures.

The recall came after a train crash killed 40 people on a high-speed line near the eastern city of Wenzhou in July.

The crash was a heavy blow for the country's high-speed railway program -- which once enjoyed political status on a level with its manned space program -- and drew public criticism over the costs and haste with which it had been rolled out.

"After a three-month process of modifications and repeated tests, previously reported problems with the CRH 380BL trains have all been fixed. Operations will gradually resume starting from Wednesday," the official Xinhua News Agency quoted an unnamed Ministry of Railways official as saying.

Six of the recalled 54 Beijing-to-Shanghai bullet trains will resume service Wednesday, with all 54 trains running by Dec. 6, the official was quoted as saying.

Xinhua said that even before the recall, Beijing-based CNR had decided to suspend delivery of the CRH 380BL trains, citing flaws in their automatic braking systems which it blamed on quality defects with outsourced parts and components.