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China set to launch Beijing-Shanghai high-speed train

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by Hembo, Jun 27, 2011.

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  1. Hembo

    Hembo OLD MOD STAR MEMBER

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    BEIJING, June 27, 2011
    China set to launch Beijing-Shanghai high-speed train

    [​IMG]
    A CRH high-speed train leaves Beijing for Shanghai on Monday

    It took Chinese engineers only 39 months to build the country's grandest yet infrastructure project — a $33 billion, 1,318 km high-speed railway line that links the capital with its financial centre.

    Starting Thursday morning, trains running at 300 kmph will barrel out of Beijing's ultramodern and sprawling South Railway Station, making the journey to Shanghai — cities as far apart as New Delhi and Mumbai — in only 4 hours and 45 minutes, less than half the duration of the current 10-hour journey.

    On Monday, Chinese railway officials unveiled a test-run of the most ambitious segment of their already impressive and fast-expanding high-speed rail network, which stretches across more than 8,000 km and will double by 2020.

    The landmark project will open to the public on Thursday, a day before the Communist Party of China marks its 90th anniversary.

    “This is the pride of China and the Chinese people,â€￾ said He Huawu, chief engineer of the Ministry of Railways. “It took just 39 months to build such a high-standard and world-renowned high-speed rail line, which is a gift for the 90th anniversary of the Party.â€￾

    The project has, however, divided opinion. It has been widely criticised for the heavy cost and tarred by allegations of corruption.

    The railway line was a pet project of the former Railways Minister, Liu Zhijun, who was sacked in February amid charges of corruption. Last week, a former engineer at the Ministry told Chinese media there were concerns over safety standards and claims that the train could travel up to 350 kmph were questionable.

    Mr. He said the trains were completely safe, and would travel well below maximum speeds, at around 250-300 kmph. Chinese airlines are already cutting air-fares between Beijing and Shanghai, anticipating heavy patronage for the rail line.

    The cheapest ticket costs 410 Yuan (Rs. 2870), around half as much as the fare for the two-hour flight, and minus the hassles of air travel.

    The financial viability of the line — and the high-speed rail network in general — has also been a source of much debate. China plans to spend 2.8 trillion yuan ($ 430.7 billion) on its railway network in the next five years.

    Wang Mengshu, a leading expert on China's high-speed rail network at Beijing Jiaotong University and a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, told The Hindu in an interview that in the long-term, the project would bring benefits to economic development, and the government did not expect the high-speed lines to break even. “All passenger transportation loses money, and this is a form of social welfare.â€￾

    “But there are also more long-term benefits to growth. For one, the trains will free up more space for freight on older lines,â€￾ he added, pointing to the rising congestion in freight transport across much of eastern coastal China.

    Mr. Wang, who has made several trips to India, said he believed despite the high costs, India was perfectly suited to a high-speed network, particularly on transport corridors where there is high congestion of both freight transport and air travel.

    “There is a very high demand from all destinations to Beijing, and between provincial capitals,â€￾ he said.

    “In India, where there is greater pressure on roads and space than in China, a similar system, where trains are built on elevated bridges, makes perfect sense.â€￾
     
  2. Patrician

    Patrician Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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    ...while India struggles to get Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor off paper.
     
  3. Jungibaaz

    Jungibaaz Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    that is a staggering figure.

    improving the trains themselves and probably creating more...
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Jungibaaz

    Jungibaaz Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    ''The country is investing heavily to expand its railway system by 2020.
    When the high-speed network is completed in 2012, it will be able to carry more than seven billion passengers annually, Mr Zhang said.
    By then, the existing system will have been expanded by about 20,000km to more than 110,000km.''


    BBC News - China unveils high-speed railways
     
  5. Mr.Ryu

    Mr.Ryu Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    It's good for china all India must care is to build it's own infra which suits us, We certainly need such projects in some time but it's not any thing that we need to be rushed into just because they have.

    We must improve metro and launch new ones in non available places and make it state centric [ covering most of city in state will bring the larger goal of nation coverage ]
     
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