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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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    China earns newfound respect with Mashair

    During the past few years, we have seen the pictures of China's proliferating world-class infrastructure. We are now starting to see the beginning of a new era. Other countries have decided that they want to improve their economies with modern infrastructure and they're contracting with China to build their important projects.

    China earns newfound respect with Mashair - Arab News

    "China earns newfound respect with Mashair
    By SIRAJ WAHAB | ARAB NEWS
    Published: Nov 20, 2010 00:13 Updated: Nov 20, 2010 00:46

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    "Made in China" is no longer a taboo label, thanks to Mashair railway. (AN photo)

    MINA: Perhaps the most notable improvement of Saudi Arabia’s many projects to accommodate Haj pilgrims is the railway that shuttled tens of thousands of people around the holy sites.

    As the modern, high-tech trains picked up and dropped off passengers, they created a newfound respect for Chinese-made products and Chinese-engineering prowess.
    Officials said the multibillion-riyal project that was started last year will about triple its capacity from present levels when completed in 2012. Nonetheless, the rail system has already alleviated vehicular traffic around Mina and made travel for many pilgrims a snap.

    The Sino-Saudi relationship has been growing over the last decade as China has sought more fossil fuels to power its economic growth. Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah helped realign the nation’s trade relationships with the implementation of a “Look Eastâ€￾ policy, which has fostered imports of heavy machinery and construction equipment as well as consumer goods. China has also raised the quality of its exported goods to fight earlier perceptions that its exports were inferior to products manufactured elsewhere.

    “We would go to shopping malls and ask for Made-in-Germany and Made-in-Japan stuff. We would look down upon Made-in-China stuff,â€￾ said Suleiman Al-Hatrash, a social-sciences teacher at an Abha college. “We started taking China seriously when we went to the Western countries and saw their shopping malls filled with Made-in-China goods.â€￾

    However, the state-of-the-art rail system is changing peoples’ perceptions about China almost as fast as it is whisking passengers around Mina.

    “People couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw pilgrims being ferried between the holy sites of Mina, Muzdalifah and Arafat,â€￾ said journalist Hadi Fakihi. “Those who rode the train were gushing about its high-tech aspects. China has overnight become a nation to respect and emulate.â€￾

    “China has won hearts with this successful project,â€￾ said Rashad Husein, vice president of the South Asian Pilgrim Establishment. “It is the first time China has executed such a massive project in the Islamic world. This will not only bring China and the Muslim world closer; this will strengthen the bond between Saudi Arabia and China.â€￾

    The technology transfers are not one way. Saudi Aramco, the Kingdom’s national oil company, has lent refining expertise and resources to oil and petrochemical projects in partnership with Chinese companies. Some less tangible things are being exported back to China as well.

    Of China’s population of nearly 1.4 billion, about 23 million are Muslims. About 13,000 Chinese Muslims performed Haj this year, which included imams, doctors and government officials. Most of the Chinese railway engineers were not Muslims when they arrived in the Kingdom. A special town was set up for them beyond the jurisdiction of Makkah as the holy city is off-limits to non-Muslims. During the course of the construction of the railway, many of the Chinese engineers embraced Islam.

    “That led to even greater love and respect for the Chinese,â€￾ said Ali Al-Harithy, a Saudi businessman conducting commerce with China. He said he also was impressed that the new stronger ties with China don’t seem to be disruptive to the Kingdom’s longstanding associations with the United States and Europe.

    “It was America that helped the Arab states discover oil, and ever since ties between Saudi Arabia and the United States have been very close,â€￾ Al-Harithy said. “For China to create space for itself in this region is phenomenal. This Makkah Metro is world-class, and every single aspect of it was carried out in Chinese factories by Chinese technicians and engineers. It is an engineering marvel. Hats off to the Chinese.â€￾

    “‘Made in China’ is no longer a taboo label,â€￾ said Sudanese journalist Hassan Ibrahim. 'It has now earned a halo of respectability.'â€￾
     
  2. Martian

    Martian Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Exciting pictures of new China-built Mashair Railway in Saudi Arabia

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    The 6.5-billion-riyal (1.7 billion dollar), 18-kilometre (11-mile) Al-Mashair rail connects Mecca to Arafat, Muzdalifa and Mina, site of a massive tent city that houses more than one million pilgrims.

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    Pilgrims on Makkah Metro Mashair!

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    การทดสอบรถไฟ Mashair Railway ที่ซาอุเตรียมไว้บริการฮุจญาต

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    Trains will move at speeds between 80 and 120 km/hour.

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    A man stands watching the newly-opened Holy Sites metro light-rail in the western Saudi city of Mecca on November 2.

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    The railway will reduce the time it takes for pilgrims to move from Arafat to Muzdalifah to five minutes on the 9th of Dul Hijjah. It will also take pilgrims five minutes to move from Muzdalifah to Mina on the 10th.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2010
  3. Martian

    Martian Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    KiwiRail's locos chug in from China

    KiwiRail's locos chug in from China - Local News - Bay of Plenty Times

    "KiwiRail's locos chug in from China
    Sandra Conchie | 22nd November 2010

    The first six of Kiwirail's 20 new DL class locomotive engines were unloaded at the Port of Tauranga yesterday, an occasion anxiously anticipated and welcomed by all those involved with the almost $80 million project.

    Vessel Beluga Foresight delivered its special cargo from China to the Port of Tauranga on Friday and the double-cab diesel locomotives, each weighing nearly 108 tonnes, were transported to the Norske Skog marshalling yard yesterday and lifted by cranes on to the railway tracks for closer inspection.

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    The first six of KiwiRail's 20 new DL class locomotives unloaded at the Port of Tauranga. (Photo / Sam Ackland)

    Built by China's Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stock Company to Kiwirail specifications, they are expected to be in service before Christmas.

    They will be used on the Auckland-Hamilton-Tauranga "golden triangle" freight route and also on Bay of Plenty forestry routes.

    They have a 2,700kw engine, will be hauling 2,000 tonnes of freight and are expected to be 5 to 10 per cent more fuel efficient than the existing 149 fleet of engines.

    Where they can replace two existing locomotives, the fuel saving is expected to reach almost 30 per cent.


    A beaming KiwiRail project manager Scott Murray said the locomotives would undergo a thorough inspection and testing process in preparation for their commissioning before Christmas, including testing the braking system, stopping performance and the load pulling power.

    Mr Murray said the new locomotives were the start of some significant investment by KiwiRail in its rolling stock and would have a huge impact on the turnaround capacity of freight haulage.

    He said it was part of the company's strategic plan to grow the business and start to retire some of its old engines.

    These are the first locomotives to have arrived in the country in nearly 35 years - the newest diesel locomotives in the current fleet are more than 34 years old and the oldest 45 years.

    Chief designer Maoye Cong was on hand to make a closer inspection on Friday, followed by a special blessing by locomotive engineer Ricky Kura who has worked for KiwiRail for 34 years.

    Mr Cong, who headed a team of 30 designers and worked closely with KiwiRail representatives on the design specifications, said it had been a challenging project, particularly because of the cultural and language differences but one he was very proud to be involved with.

    "It's just like waiting to seeing a baby being born. Now it has arrived, it's very exciting."

    Noting the first locomotive engine was number 9008 - the nine in Chinese symbolising longevity and eight meaning prosperity, also raised quite a few smiles among the KiwiRail staff.

    Mr Murray said the remaining 14 locomotives in the $80 million purchase were due to arrive early next year and will deployed around the North Island."

    Note: Thank you to "Schumacher" for the post.
     
  4. Martian

    Martian Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Superb widescreen video of China Railways

    Click on video link: Chinese Railways

    Trailer is directed by Zhang Yimou (i.e. director of Beijing Olympics opening and closing ceremonies; also director of movie "Hero" with Jet Li).

    Tip: After the commercial, you may want to hit the pause button and let the entire video load and then watch it uninterrupted.

    Note: Thank you to "marchpole" for the video link.
     
  5. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    I think high-speed railways should connect the most busy routes only in the country rather than making it a "nation-wide" norm. This is because in normal cases such as India's, airline industry will severely object to it; the air fares on low cost carriers will collapse below its operating limits and hence will cause the aviation industry to become equivalent to bus services. This is not viable at a point when India can afford another at least half a dozen more new airlines in the country's aviation industry which has only recently begun to shoot upwards.

    High speed railways for China make more sense because of their non-uniform distribution of population: almost everyone is stuffed in the eastern Chinese regions while Western China (including Xinjiang and nation of Tibet) is almost empty despite reports of "Han-ization" compared to the eastern parts. India on the other hand is more densely populated and starting hi-speed rails between busy business/trade transport corridors like Delhi-Ahmedabad-Surat-Mumbai-Chennai-Kolkata-Bangalore-Hyderabad and secondary lines like Jaipur-Vadodara-Ranchi-Patna-Gangtok-Guwahati-Silchar etc must start.

    However other cities can still afford more penetration from airline industries into their regular spheres of life so that the industry is more exploited. It would take at least another 30-40 years more for the airline industry to saturate in India since our population is huge and as more and more people come into the middle class category, there will be more air travel.
     
  6. Naren1987

    Naren1987 Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    One connecting Mumbai and Pune would be a nice start.
     
  7. Naren1987

    Naren1987 Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    One connecting Mumbai and Pune would be a nice start.
     
  8. Martian

    Martian Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    China-Kazakhstan high-speed railway contract sealed

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    Kazakhstan purchases "1,050-kilometer-long double-track" high-speed-rail line from China.

    China-Kazakhstan high-speed railway contract sealed - People's Daily Online

    "China-Kazakhstan high-speed railway contract sealed
    08:39, February 23, 2011

    China and Kazakhstan will jointly build a high-speed railway connecting the central Asian nation's cities of Astana and Almaty, with the project to be completed in 2015, Askar Mamin, the president of Kazakhstan Railways, said yesterday in Beijing.

    Trains on the 1,050-kilometer-long double-track planned line connecting Kazakhstan's capital Astana with its biggest city Almaty will run at a maximum speed of 350km per hour, serving 5 million passengers annually, said Mamin, adding that a memorandum of understanding has been signed with China's railways. The line will use the most advanced Chinese technology and new-generation locomotives and cars.

    Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev arrived in Beijing on Monday for a three-day state visit.

    The two nations also signed a contract worth several billion dollars for long-term Kazakhstan supplies of uranium to China, part of a cooperation program with Guangdong Nuclear Power Co, Kazakhstan's Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund Chairman Kairat Kelimbetov told the Kazinform news agency.

    Source: Shanghai Daily/Agencies

    The two sides also agreed on a US$1 billion plan for the Export-Import Bank of China to finance construction of an oil refinery in the Kazakh city of Atyrau, Kelimbetov said.

    Source: Shanghai Daily"

    Note: Thank you to "Marchpole" for the post.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2011
  9. Welcome

    Welcome 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    we indian need to learn something good from china rather than blaming him for reverse engineering or dictatorship or human rights.....
     
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  10. Martian

    Martian Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    China's new 400 km/h (or 248 mph) high-speed train

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    China unveils the CRH 400A (stands for 400 km/h)

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    China's CRH 400A manufacturing facility

    Note: Thank you to "Marchpole" for the pictures.
     
  11. Martian

    Martian Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    China's HSR moves like the wind


    China's HSR rockets through the station.


    China's CRH380A travels at 486.1 km/h and passes "undisturbed egg" (minimal vibration) test.


    Famous director Zhang Yimou presents "China Railway (High-speed) Promotion 中国铁路(高铁)宣传片"
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2014
  12. Martian

    Martian Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    A prototype of the CIT 400B (a.k.a CRH 400B) on exhibit

    A prototype of the CIT 400B (a.k.a CRH 400B) on exhibit

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    Manufactured by CNR Changchun. 25 16-car CRH 380CL trainsets and one set of CIT 400B (i.e. Comprehensive Inspection Train 400B or CRH 380C-ZJ1) were ordered by China's Ministry of Railways (MOR).

    Note: Thank you to "Marchpole" for the post.
     
  13. Martian

    Martian Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    China builds 300 km/h HSR from central Lanzhou to western Urumqi (1,776 kilometers)

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    Lanzhou, capital of Gansu Province, is located in central China. Urumqi is the capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. China's new HSR will reduce the "travel time between Lanzhou and Urumqi to about six hours" for the 1,776 kilometer (or 1,104 mile) distance.

    [​IMG]
    By 2015, China's high-speed rail will extend to western China's Urumqi. In the picture, a bullet train runs on the Shanghai-Hangzhou 350 km/h rail line. [Han Chuanhao / Xinhua]

    China takes fast rail ambition to new heights

    "China takes fast rail ambition to new heights
    by Xinhua writers Wang Aihua, Xu Wenting
    English.news.cn 2011-04-09 12:45:39

    QILIAN MOUNTAINS, Qinghai, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Deep in the Qilian Mountains in northwest China, early spring is marked with heavy snow and freezing temperatures.

    In this desolate place in Qinghai Province, at an altitude of 3,700 meters above sea level, migrant worker Li Bingui is seldom separated from his jackhammer, which moves his whole body as he works to break apart bedrock.

    Li, along with more than 1,800 other workers, are at the mercy of a ruthless environment as they construct the world's highest high-speed railway.

    HIGHER, TOUGHER

    Li and others are carving out a 9,490-meter tunnel through the rugged mountain range, one of the most difficult parts of building the line to link Lanzhou, capital of Gansu Province, with Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

    The 1,776-kilometer second line of Lanxin Railway runs across Gansu and Qinghai provinces to Xinjiang, traversing the wind ravaged Gobi Desert.

    Started in late 2009 and scheduled to be completed in 2015, the line is designed for trains traveling at up to 300 kilometers per hour
    , much faster than the current 120 kilometers/ per hour on the existing line, cutting travel time between Lanzhou and Urumqi to about six hours.

    Ren Shaoqiang, chief engineer with the China Railway 20th Group Co., Ltd., which is in charge of the construction, told Xinhua that compared with the Qinghai-Tibet plateau railway and the existing line between Lanzhou and Urumqi, construction of this fast rail line is more challenging.

    "Take the tunnel project for example. There's no precedent to draw from," said Ren, who also played a significant role in building the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the highest rail link in the world.

    "We have to make innovations, just like when we worked on the Fenghuoshan Tunnel of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway."

    In the past year or so, engineers have worked with researchers from several universities in China on natural disaster forecasting, water discharge, measuring of wall rock transfiguration, among other things.

    Other worries are more immediately pressing, such as the lack of oxygen in the air because of the high altitude, which poses a threat to the health of workers.

    Zhang Hong, a director at the site, said natural oxygen content in the tunnel is only around 65 percent of that in low-lying areas.

    "Besides, from October to June, the mountain is frequently covered by ice and snow," Zhang added.

    Construction worker Wu Xuelin said working on the tunnel project is far more stressful than working on similar projects in coastal areas like in Shandong Province or Shanghai.

    "I could not adapt well at the beginning, suffering headaches, nausea, and had difficulty sleeping," Wu said.

    The company has stepped up safety measures to better protect workers, providing them with oxygen tanks and setting up rooms at cave exits for workers to inhale oxygen.

    It has also built oxygen-generating stations to provide more oxygen in the tunnel.

    Live video surveillance and alarm systems have also been set up.

    "We only need to switch on a computer and log in to our accounts to know what's happening in the tunnel, even if we are thousands of kilometers away," Ren said. "We can also remotely control operations."

    Despite all these measures, Guo Yuhong, Secretary of the Communist Party of China and Union Committee for the Qilian Mountains Tunnel, said, "Under such conditions, nobody can stand a high workload for a long time."

    Guo, 44, has been stationed at the construction site since last year, and his hair has turned gray during that period of time.

    MORE EXPENSIVE, MORE CONTROVERSIAL

    According to Ren, building the line through difficult terrain like in the Qilian Mountain area requires twice as much investment compared with similar high-speed line construction on low-level flat areas.

    Wages for construction workers is also double, he said.

    For regular high-speed rail lines with a designed speed of 350 kilometers an hour, construction costs can reach 100 million yuan (about 15.15 million U.S.dollars) per km, much higher than lines designed for allowing trains to travel at a speed of 200 kilometers per hour.

    As the first long-distance high-speed rail line in west China, the second line of Lanxin Railway has a planned investment of more than 140 billion yuan in total, but the actual figure is yet to be revealed.

    The project, designed as a passenger route, will make way for the existing Lanxin Railway to be used exclusively for freight.

    Analysts are divided over whether the benefits outweigh the costs of building high-speed lines in the ecologically fragile western regions.

    Some say higher construction costs will only push up ticket prices and, like other high-speed lines in coastal areas, might not be much favored by many passengers. Others take it as an effective means to develop the economy in the generally under-developed regions.

    A senior researcher with the China Academy of Railway Sciences told Xinhua, on condition of anonymity, that it will be difficult to make money from building such a line.

    "It's more of a political thing," he said. "It's more about national defense and ethnic unity."

    The new railway is expected to facilitate transport of energy resources from the vast desolate northwest to other regions of the country.

    Take Xinjiang for example: rich in oil, coal and natural gas reserves, the region is aiming to supply more of its resources to other areas in the coming five years.


    Wang Tieshan, a PhD of economics at the Xi'an Jiaotong University, said high-speed railways are vital for closer links between cities in the west regions as they are usually far apart.

    So far, several provinces and regions in the west, including Shaanxi Province in the northwest and Guizhou in the southwest, have laid out ambitious plans for high-speed rail construction over the next five years.

    Currently, high-speed rail has linked Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi, with Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan Province. More such links between Xi'an and other west cities like Chengdu and Yinchuan are either under construction or in the planning.

    At the political sessions held in early March, high-speed rail remained one of the hottest topics among national legislators and political advisors, particularly as the high-growth industry was shrouded in uncertainties following the sacking of former railway minister Liu Zhijun in February on suspicion of graft.

    Sheng Guangzu, the new railway minister, said Liu's case was only an individual one and that China would continue to develop the industry in the coming years in accordance with the country's mid-and-long-term railway network plan.

    Under China's economic master plan unveiled in March for the next five years, China aims to have more than 16,000 kilometers of high-speed railway by 2015. Currently, more than 8,000 kilometers of high-speed rail line are in operation, already the most in the world.

    As to concerns about the massive debts caused by high construction costs and low occupancy rate due to expensive ticket prices, Sheng said the debt ratio of around 56 percent is "normal" and "controllable."

    Sheng also has pledged strict and high quality standards on the construction of high-speed rails to ensure safety.

    However, legislators and political advisors have called for a restraint on the expansion of the high-speed rail network to avoid over-investment driven by an irrational pursuit for speed.

    Political advisor Feng Pei'en suggested that new railway construction plans be made public to solicit feedback and that decisions be made based on objective analysis of passenger flows by air, rail and road.

    Zhuang Wei, another political advisor, argued that China should focus on building railways with speeds at around 250 kilometers per hour because those at higher than 300 kilometers an hour are not only much more expensive but also tend to produce more pollution. (Xinhua correspondents He Wei and Wen Yiwei contributed to the story.)

    Editor: Fang Yang"
     
  14. Martian

    Martian Captain SENIOR MEMBER

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    Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail to remove luxury seats

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    A staff member walks by a high-speed train at Shanghai Hongqiao railway station, east China's Shanghai, on Feb. 20, 2011. The Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway started a test-run on its Shanghai section on Sunday. The Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail service provides a five-hour link between the twin cosmopolitan cities in China after it is fully operational by mid 2011. Preparations have been made for a test-run, which will be launched soon. (Xinhua/Chen Fei)

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    The Shanghai-Nanjing and Shanghai-Hangzhou high-speed railways began operation in 2010. The Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway is expected to be operational by the middle of 2011.

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    A China Railway High-speed (CRH) train leaves Shanghai Hongqiao railway station for a test-run in Shanghai, east China's Shanghai, on Feb. 20, 2011. (Xinhua/Chen Fei)

    Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail to remove luxury seats - People's Daily Online

    "Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail to remove luxury seats
    14:21, April 20, 2011

    The operators of the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail that is scheduled to be put into operation at the end of June will remove luxury train seats and lower the operating speed in order to better meet the needs of common passengers by charging lower fares, the railway authorities said on April 19.

    Earlier, the new trains for the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway were all produced under the standard of running at the maximum speed of 380 kilometers per hour and at the normal speed of 350 kilometers per hour. However, according to the latest provisions by the Ministry of Railways, the maximum speed of the trains will be lowered to 300 kilometers per hour and the aviation-grade luxury seats will be replaced by standard seats.

    "China's high-speed railway sector has set safety, reliability, economy and availability to common people as the new emphasis, attempting to enable more common passengers to enjoy the convenience of high-speed railways," a transport expert who declined to give his name told reporters.

    Although foreign high-speed trains also run at speeds up to 400 kilometers per hour and some even more than 500 kilometers per hour, foreign operators all left sufficient safety redundancy for the trains when putting them into actual operation. This is why the highest operating speed of high-speed railway trains in developed countries stands at only at 320 kilometers per hour.

    Furthermore, after the speed of a railway train exceeds 320 kilometers per hour, the costs of energy consumption for the train will double for a rise of every 10 kilometers per hour in the speed. Therefore, high-speed operators cannot focus only on lifting operation speeds but rather select an operating mode that can best fulfill practical needs and is most economically feasible.

    After the operation speed for the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway is lowered, a non-stop high-speed train is expected to complete the journey between Beijing and Shanghai in five hours, instead of four hours as originally planned.

    To compete for high-end commercial passengers with the aviation sector, the operators of the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway once planned to use aviation-grade train seats as its biggest selling point. They added not only VIP cabins similar to first-class aircraft cabins to the trains but also commercial cars equipped with flatbed seats.

    However, luxury facilities on most high-speed trains are being removed and will be converted into common high-speed trains with only first and second-class seats. This will help enlarge the fare difference between the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway and air travel, as well as lift the passenger occupancy rate.

    By People's Daily Online"
     
  15. Varad

    Varad Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Absolutely great work by China. Hopefully these would be implemented in India soon.
     
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