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China's Nationwide High Speed Rail Network: Now or Never

Discussion in 'China & Asia Pacific' started by Martian, Jun 5, 2010.

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  1. Martian

    Martian Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    [​IMG]
    Wuhan Station with CRH3C in the foreground and CRH2C in the background

    [​IMG]
    Travellers board a high-speed train which heads to Guangzhou in Wuhan, Hubei province

    http://evworld.com/currents.cfm?jid=72

    "Comparing Long-Distance High-Speed Rail Routes
    Line---------------------------- Distance Travel Time Avg Speed
    China: Wuhan-Guangzhou.. 968 km... 2h57........ 328 km/h
    Spain: Cordoba-Barcelona.. 966 km.... 4h42....... 206 km/h
    France: Lille-Marseille......... 959 km.... 4h40....... 206 km/h
    Italy: Turin-Naples............. 900 km.... 5h45....... 157 km/h
    USA: Boston-Newport News 1034 km 12h35......... 82 km/h

    Published: 28-Dec-2009"

    The article "China's Fast Track to Development" provides important insights into China's motivation for building a nationwide high-speed rail system. For your convenience, I have itemized the main reasons. (See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100...3879199386.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEFTTopBucket)

    1) "Moving passenger traffic off clogged conventional rail lines will free up room for an explosion of freight traffic."

    2) "Increased freight revenue will pay the capital cost of building the new lines."

    3) "By reducing the need for airplanes, cars and trucks to carry passengers and freight, the system will yield big savings in energy intensity and carbon emissions."

    "Respected transportation economists Richard Gilbert and Anthony Perl reported that electrified high-speed trains traveling on their own right of way are about 9 times more energy-efficient per passenger mile than private automobiles or domestic jet travel (and hence emit about one-ninth as much pollution as air and auto)." See http://www.midwesthsr.org/docs/2009_07_31_Fact_vs._fiction.pdf

    4) "Over the next decade, China's Ministry of Railways expects freight carriage to rise 55%, while passenger-miles will double. More miles of track are not a luxury, but a necessity. In addition to the high-speed lines, the ministry plans to lay another 18,000 kilometers of new conventional freight and passenger track by 2020."

    5) "In France, Spain or Japan a mile of high-speed track costs triple a conventional mile. But in China, according to World Bank estimates, the cost premium is as low as 20% to 30%. Cheap labor and locally produced equipment help; so does the decision to build much of the network on viaducts, minimizing land acquisition cost. Finally, building an entire network all at once produces massive economies of scale."

    6) "This modest cost premium translates into affordable ticket prices—higher than for conventional rail, but lower than for air travel. The average household income in China's 36 biggest cities is now more than $10,000, so tens of millions of Chinese can easily afford high-speed tickets, especially for business trips."

    7) "On several recent trips on the Nanjing-Wuhan, Wuhan-Guangzhou and Guangzhou-Shenzhen lines, we found the trains to be about 90% full. The World Bank reckons that in a few years' time the Beijing-Hong Kong line will carry more than 80 million passengers a year, becoming the world's busiest high-speed passenger rail line."

    8) "But the really big gain is that by moving most passenger traffic off existing conventional lines, more space is freed up for cargo. China's businesses—ranging from manufacturers to coal mines—have complained for years about the difficulty of securing space on freight trains, which forces them to move a lot of their cargo on more expensive and less efficient trucks. An increase in rail capacity will enable them to put their freight back on trains, generating huge savings. Ton for ton, freight carried by rail costs nearly 70% less than carriage by truck, uses 77% less energy and produces 91% less carbon dioxide emissions."

    9) "For one thing, building the network now, when labor costs are still low, is smarter than waiting a decade or two, when higher wages will push the real cost far higher." In my opinion, China has to build a nationwide high-speed rail network now. I don't think labor construction costs will be affordable in another ten to twenty years. Payment for labor is increasing rapidly in China. By the way, Foxconn (e.g. a Taiwanese company) has 800,000 employees in China.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100602-715342.html?mod=WSJ_latestheadlines
    "* JUNE 2, 2010, 8:20 P.M. ET
    Foxconn: Production Line Workers In China Get 30% Pay Rise"

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5idy8qjbZZyQsRm8xeB81EdS7rOrwD9G4VRE00
    "Honda says Chinese labor dispute has been settled

    By CARA ANNA (AP) – 9 hours ago

    BEIJING — Honda Motor Co. said a labor dispute at a parts plant that crippled the automaker's production in China has been resolved after a wage increase of 24 percent, and the affected assembly plants would be running again Saturday."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/04/business/global/04pay.html?src=busln
    "Beijing to Raise Minimum Wage
    By REUTERS
    Published: June 3, 2010

    BEIJING (Reuters) — Beijing will increase the city’s minimum wage by 20 percent, state media reported on Thursday, the latest sign of rising labor costs in the world’s third-largest economy."
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
    1 person likes this.
  2. prototype

    prototype Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    what r the fares per km,and i donot see japan in ur speed list,did u forget to add them
     
  3. Desi Jatt

    Desi Jatt Captain ELITE MEMBER

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    It looks great !!
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. prototype

    prototype Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    i think still japan is at no 1

    Starting with the 210 km/h (130 mph) Tōkaidō Shinkansen in 1964, the now 2,459 km (1,528 mi) long network has expanded to link most major cities on the islands of Honshū and Kyūshū at speeds up to 300 km/h (186 mph). Test runs have reached 443 km/h (275 mph) for conventional rail in 1996, and up to a world record 581 km/h (361 mph) for maglev trainsets in 2003.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinkansen
     
  5. Martian

    Martian Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    The table of train speeds didn't list Japan. I used it only as an example of high speed train speeds in different countries to show that they can vary. I forgot about Japan. I've fixed the problem with the newslink below.

    http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-average-bullet-train-speed.htm

    "The Shinkansen averaged 100 mph to 131 mph (160 kph to 210 kph) in its earlier days. Newer parts of the Japanese network average 163 mph (261 kph) and boast an upper range of 187 mph (300 kph). This bullet train speed makes the Shikansen a tough competitor for France's TGV."
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2010
  6. prototype

    prototype Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    well what r fares for chinese bullet trains,r they economical for the middle class
     
  7. Martian

    Martian Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Beats me. I thought the article would be interesting to show that China has to build her high speed rail network now. At the rates that labor wages are increasing (e.g. 20 to 30%), I don't think China can afford to build a high speed rail network in 10 to 20 years.
     
  8. prototype

    prototype Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    but the best part is that u have initiated it,just likes the thread say its now or never,well it will take time to develope it,but the most disturbing part for the developmental story will b the fall in airfare,going cheep and more cheep per day
     
  9. Martian

    Martian Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    China's airlines are feeling the pressure from the high-speed-rail (i.e. HSR) industry. Many airline routes have been terminated when a new HSR line is opened.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTOE62P04E20100326

    "China express train forces airlines to stop flights
    BEIJING
    Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:06am EDT

    March 26 (Reuters) - A new high-speed rail link between two inland Chinese cities has cut travel times so dramatically that all competing air services on the route have been suspended, state media said.

    The suspension of flights between the gritty industrial city of Zhengzhou and Xian, home of the Terracotta Warriors, came just 48 days after the express railway began operations, the official Xinhua news agency said on Friday.

    The 505 km (314 miles) railway, on which trains run at a top speed of 350 km per hour, has cut the travel time between the two cities from more than six hours to less than two, the report said. By contrast, flying takes just over an hour. Xian's airport is also located at least an hour away by road from downtown.

    Before the railway opened, Joy Air, one of the domestic airlines flying the route, managed to sell an average of more than 60 percent of seats for the route, Xinhua said.

    Zhengzhou airport confirmed that all flights to and from Xian had now stopped, the report added.

    China is spending billions of dollars on a network of high-speed railways, including one from Beijing to the country's financial capital Shanghai, posing a challenge to airlines which had profited from China's vast size and slow roads and trains.

    By 2012, China would have more than 13,000 km of high-speed railway, Xinhua said.

    "By then, 60 percent of China's domestic air market will be affected by the high-speed railways," Liu Chaoyong, general manager of China Eastern Airlines (600115.SS) (0670.HK), was quoted as saying.

    China Eastern last year agreed to sell 35 percent of Joy Air, in which it held 40 percent, to state-owned Aviation Industry Corp of China."
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2010
  10. prototype

    prototype Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    ^^^hahaha so airway and railway is engage in abattle mode..with railway rising as the winner

    but in india's things r little different

    though railway here carries most of the traffic,but airways had rised from its earlier position,each yr the no of passengers r increasing

    though we dont have any high speed railways but projects r on table,i hope airways not get affected here after high speed railway's completion as it ihad happened in china now
     
  11. Martian

    Martian Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    In a few more years, India will have its own high speed railway. Different countries are at different places on the development ladder. However, India is clearly developing at a nice pace (e.g. Golden Quadrilateral project). Also, once a country is developed, that is as far as it can go.

    Some countries develop a little faster than others. In the end, most countries will eventually become developed. In my opinion, India could build high speed railways today. It is in the politicians' hands.
     
  12. prototype

    prototype Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    ^^yes as far as i know the project is on table...a japanese delegation was also invited here,i think a chinese delegations should also b invited as they can provide valuable inputs on cost reduction on such a costlysystem
     
  13. Martian

    Martian Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    A netizen was able to provide the information regarding the cost for the average fare on the Guangzhou-Wuhan high speed rail line.
     
  14. Martian

    Martian Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    China owns 940 high-speed railway patents

    China's high-speed rail lines are able to achieve a world-record average speed of 328 km/h because she developed and "owns 940 high-speed railway patents."

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2010-03/15/content_9588140.htm

    "Fast train to open a year ahead of schedule
    By Xin Dingding (China Daily)
    Updated: 2010-03-15 07:19

    Beijing: The highly anticipated Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway will begin operation next year, and is expected to cut travel time to four hours, railway officials said.

    The high-speed railway between China's two most important metropolises was scheduled to open in 2012 but will now open one year ahead of time, said Zheng Jian, chief planner with the Ministry of Railways.

    Wang Zhiguo, vice-minister of railways, said that it would be a four-hour journey from Beijing to Shanghai, and only three hours from Beijing to Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu province.

    At present, it takes about 10 hours to travel from Beijing to Shanghai and Nanjing by train.

    A new-generation bullet train that will travel up to 380 kilometers per hour (kph) is now under development for the high-speed rail link.

    It will be rigorously tested this year, and engineers want the train to run at a top speed of 420 kph to guarantee a safe operational speed of 380 kph, Huang Qiang, chief researcher with the China Academy of Railway Sciences told the Beijing News.

    Vice-Minister Wang Zhiguo said it was expected that high-speed trains would one day take passengers from Beijing to most capital cities within eight hours, except for Haikou, Urumqi, Lhasa and Taipei.

    It is expected that an 110,000-km railway network will be completed by 2012, including 13,000 km of high-speed rail, he said.

    China already has 6,552 km of rail track in operation - the longest amount of high-speed rail track in the world.

    The ministry wants to export China's high-speed railway technology to North America, Europe and Latin America.

    Wang said State-owned Chinese companies are already building high-speed lines in Turkey and Venezuela.

    Many countries, including the United States, Russia, Brazil and Saudi Arabia, have also expressed interest.

    "China is willing to share its mature and advanced technology with other countries to promote development of the world's high-speed railways," he said.

    The ministry has signed cooperation memos with California in the United States, as well as Russia and Brazil.

    "We are organizing relevant companies to participate in bidding for US high-speed railways and prepare for bidding on a line in Brazil linking Rio de Janeiro with Sao Paulo," the vice-minister said.

    The ministry introduced high-speed train technologies from France, Germany and Japan, while at the same time made its own innovations. It now owns 940 patents concerning high-speed railways, the ministry's chief engineer He Huawu said.

    At present, at least 10,000 km of high-speed rail line is under construction in China. About 3,676 km of new track for running trains at speeds up to 350 kph have already been laid and put into operation. Another 2,876 km of old tracks have been upgraded to run trains of 200 to 250 kph.

    Ultimately, China plans to construct a 120,000-km railway network, including 50,000-km of high-speed rail track, by 2020."


    Notice the orange juice and upright cigarette tests on China's 350 kph high-speed train.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2014
  15. Martian

    Martian Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    American confirmation that "Chinese rail companies now have 940 registered patents"

    High Speed Rail on Track to Reap Hefty Funds, But Faces Hurdles: Cleantech News «

    "High Speed Rail on Track to Reap Hefty Funds, But Faces Hurdles
    By Josie Garthwaite Jun. 21, 2010, 3:30pm PDT

    [​IMG]

    A “palpable excitement” — that’s how the investigative arm of Congress describes the aura created by the allocation of federal funds for new high speed rail service in the U.S under last year’s Recovery Act. But this buzz and an unprecedented gush of federal investment will carry efforts to establish intercity passenger rail service only so far.

    The Government Accountability Office, or GAO, notes in a new report that the success of this “difficult, multiyear effort” will hinge on a host of other factors, including the availability of state and federal funds “to build and operate systems that go far beyond the funds provided by the Recovery Act,” the ability of states to work together on interstate lines, and the cooperation of private railroads.

    The challenge of building infrastructure across state lines has cropped up for greentech efforts beyond the transportation sector. For example, despite widespread recognition that the U.S. power grid is overdue for an upgrade, transmission lines are in many cases being built at a slow pace partly because of issues with conflicting state regulations.

    According to the GAO, 37 states and the District of Columbia submitted 259 applications requesting a total of around $57 billion under the $8 billion in stimulus funds made available for new passenger rail corridors or improvements to existing rail service. Earlier this year the Federal Railroad Administration announced plans to award the $8 billion to 62 projects in 23 states, plus the District of Columbia.
    In total, federal appropriations for high-speed intercity passenger rail has grown to $10.5 billion for the 2010 fiscal year, up from $120 million in the two previous fiscal years combined, according to the GAO report.

    Administering these programs will require the FRA to undergo a massive transformation, writes the GAO, shifting from an organization focused primarily on safety to an entity “that can make multibillion dollar investment choices while simultaneously carrying out its safety mission.”

    It’s not just states that have perked up at the prospect of federal funds for these transportation projects. The GAO also predicts that federal funds may provide a “catalyst” for many high-speed passenger rail projects and notes that, ”Passenger rail operators and suppliers from around the world are showing interest in making and operating high speed passenger trains for a possible emerging U.S. market.” (Software giants like IBM and Accenture are among the companies that could find opportunities in that market, helping to automate system management to improve efficiency.)

    The GAO looked to state passenger rail projects for lessons that can be applied to upcoming initiatives, but when it comes to overseas players in the high-speed rail space, China (slated to spend an estimated $300 billion to build out a 75,000-mile high-speed rail network by 2020) is becoming the 800-pound gorilla. According to a recent report from the Center for American Progress, Chinese rail companies now have 940 registered patents, and in just over a decade it has made the “move from being an importer of high-speed rail technology and operational know-how to being an exporter.”

    Photo courtesy IBM"

    [Note: Thank you to "gpit" for finding the newslink.]
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2010
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