Thunderstorms caused a power failure on the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway on Sunday, paralyzing southbound trains for 90 minutes, railway authorities said.
It was the first major malfunction since the line was launched on June 30.The Beijing railway bureau said in an announcement that thunderstorms and gales in Shandong province caused a glitch to the power supply network between Qufu and Zaozhuang at 6:10 pm on Sunday.
The problem was fixed at 7:37 pm and operations resumed soon afterwards, it said.Nineteen trains heading south on the 1,318-km rail line would arrive later than scheduled, the bureau said.
Shanghai railway bureau also said, through its official micro blog, that some 11 trains heading to Shanghai had been delayed for more than two hours because of the power failure.The Shanghai station has arranged additional buses and taxies to carry passengers.
According to netizen's accounts on micro blogs, the first train to be hit by the power failure was G151, which left Beijing at 3:30 pm and was scheduled to arrive at Shanghai at 9 pm.
The accident has increased safety concerns about the landmark railway, which opened one year ahead of schedule.
A publicity official with the Ministry of Railways explained that the delays were to ensure passenger safety.
There were similar incidents in 2007, the first year that China started to use bullet trains.
Still, many micro-bloggers said they would not choose high-speed trains after this incident, as punctuality and the ability to operate regardless of the weather were meant to be its advantages.