Caixin reported on August 13 that many domestic high-speed rail services in China experienced large-scale delays, causing chaos (for passengers) at many stations. The cause created a stir among netizens.

A video posted on YouTube shows a train standing motionless on an overpass.

A large screen at a station shows trains passing through Guiyangbei Station, Chongqingbei Station, Nanjingnan Station, Jinanxi Station, and other railway stations were delayed to varying degrees, and some stations are not even able to determine the train delay time.

After that, the official Weibo account Xinan Railway posted a response that at around 6:30 pm on August 12, the Xinan Railway Bureau discovered an equipment malfunction and was restoring order to the trains. Some trains under the control of the Chengdu Bureau will be delayed.

Taiwanese media Newtalk reported that a source said that the cause of the large-scale train delays was the failure to register the “CIR” for the train; the communication equipment malfunction prevented the train from receiving a signal.

The full name of CIR is “Integrated Wireless Communication Equipment for Locomotives,” which is a locomotive communication device to ensure safe train operation and provide information management functions. It allows the train commander on the ground to communicate with the train engineer and other personnel serving on the train. The report indicates that if one part of the system fails, it will affect the overall operation of the entire system.

Sound of Hope has compiled some comments from netizens:

Some netizens complained that waiting from the evening to 2:32 am; the delay is getting longer and longer. This kind of large-scale delay of the national high-speed railway only happens once in a hundred years.

One passenger said, “Train Z349 was delayed six hours, equal to the time of two round-trip trains. The train announced that there was a route malfunction, then gave no solution. Everyone has urgent work, the important thing is in the attitude of problem solving.”

Another netizen posted that they were told that the reason for the delay was not a route malfunction but the weather. “This is the first time the train is late, not as fast as the bus. Saying it’s due to the weather, but it’s clearly sunny, the train is more than an hour late, it’s confusing.”

Some netizens worried, saying that China’s high-speed railway has imported a large number of components, especially the weak electronic control system, mainly from a German company established in 1951. Now that the Russia-Ukraine conflict is happening, I am afraid that the German company has also received a directive and stopped providing some connection terminals (to China), you know (how the quality is). So let’s get over it.

Some analysts have suggested that the failure of the train to be registered in the common control system, leading to such widespread paralysis, was because the original system design did not take into account repair and maintenance mechanisms. As for individual incidents, some netizens accused the arrested former minister of Railways – Liu Zhijun, that the design ideas under his leadership were wrong and that the root cause must be corruption.

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