China reportedly tested its latest super-speed train over the Christmas weekend. The new train is believed to be capable of a maximum speed of 500 km per hour.

The six-car train has a maximum tractive power of 22,800 kilowatts and is built by China's largest train-maker - CSR Corp - Xinhua news agency reported.

The concept of the super-speed train design was inspired by China's ancient sword. The bodywork uses plastic materials reinforced with carbon fiber, Ding Sansan, the company's Chief Technician, said to the agency.

China plans to build 13,000 km (8,078 miles) of high-speed passenger rail network by 2012 and 20-odd thousand by 2020. It currently has, as of 2010, 8,000 km (5,000 miles) in service.

However, the Chinese railway industry saw a catastrophic accident in 2010 and 2011.

Two high-speed trains in Wenzhou, in the Zhejiang province of eastern China, collided on July 23, killed at least 40 people and injured 210 passengers in what has become the country's deadliest train crash since 2008.

The crash raised concerns about the safety of the country's fast-growing high speed rail network and construction of new high-speed trains in China has since been a near halt.