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China Transportation Technology

World's Longest High-Speed Rail Line Opens In China 322

An anonymous reader writes "Today China continued rolling out the future of high speed rail by officially unveiling the world's longest high-speed rail line — a 2,298-kilometer (1,428-mile) stretch of railway that connects Beijing in the north to Guangzhou in the south. The first trains on the new route hit 300 kph (186 mph), cutting travel time between the two cities by more than half."
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World's Longest High-Speed Rail Line Opens In China

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  • Re:Therewhile ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @03:56PM (#42397327)

    Still faster than 90% of Amtrack.

    To go from Buffalo NY to Toronto Canada by car takes about 1.44 hours, by train it takes 4.5 hours. As a trip I make on a fairly regular basis for pleasure it would be great to be able to avoid driving as I do not need a car once I arrive. Wasting half of a day of vacation on a train is not something I intend to do.

  • Re:Marketing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @04:03PM (#42397401)

    You could have hit the airport and been there in far less time. Leaving you time to eat at a nice restaurant and sleep in a hotel.

    Do they even have booze on Amtrack?

  • Re:Therewhile ... (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @04:36PM (#42397715)

    No, you're wrong. We actually do not have the population densities to support it, otherwise it would have been built.

    Most of Europe is a series of countries centered around one hub city: Paris, Berlin, etc. The individual countries are pretty much set up as a hub-and-spoke concept. Not to mention that each rail system is established under each individual country's budgets, so they tend to tie their regions together by forcing them to run the rail system through the main hub which is also the capital city, and then the networks are tied together to allow inter-country transit.

    China is more of an archipelago style nation. They have 18 major geographic centers which are HIGHLY dense; the areas between the major cities are really quite sparse but a small city in China is 1 to 5 million people, with Beijing at 18 million and Shanghai at 24million, and that's just in the city, not the surrounding regions. For them high speed rail makes sense as you have a few highly dense locations to connect. China like the US has a very high rural population, however those areas are mostly underdeveloped, and it has been a very expensive project for China to try to bring even basic infrastructure to them, let alone an advanced high speed rail system. A full 900 M of China's residents live in the rural parts with no access to electricty, let alone high speed rail.

    The US is very different. The US has fully 60 major metropolitan centers scattered all over a landmass that is much larger than all of Europe, and while some are more prominant than others by no means is a single one dominant like you have in Europe. But when you take the entirety of the US geography into account, we have a much larger rural population. Trains are great for delivering large quantities of goods to a single location, but trucks are far better and delivering smaller quantities of goods to a great many locations. Not to mention that the US already has a much better option for transportation; the entire midwest has a vast interconnected river system which empties out into the Gulkf of Mexico, as well as numerous deep water ports on both coasts lines. Water transportation is about 10-30% of the cost of rail or truck, so there's just no impetus to build high speed rail.

    So at the end of the day, when planes are faster for passenger movement, water transporation is already available and vastly cheaper for goods movement, why on earth would anyone in the US build high speed rail? What's the advantage?

  • Sure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @04:37PM (#42397731) Journal

    Enjoy your slide into obsolesce. If you remove all the emotionalism from those proposing pure capitalism, your are left holding a big, empty, "I don't want to spend any more" motto. It is religious fanaticism.

    Countries thrive when they invest, undertake massive projects, improve themselves. They slide into nothingness when the accountants take over as their infrastructure falls apart and all the bright people find themselves working abroad.

    The ultimate failure of religious fantatics like the parent is that they think the race ends. That once you won, that is it. The race never ends. And China right now is winning by default because everyone else has stopped. You can smirk about North-Korea's rocket attempts but at least they are trying. In the west, people worry about the costs to much to do ANYTHING anymore. Great nations were not build by accountants.

  • Re:Therewhile ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @04:57PM (#42397917)

    Germany is certainly not centered around Berlin. There are lots of major centers like Hamburg, Cologne, Munich, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and so on. In the US a high speed train would make lot of sense, e.g. from Washington to NYC and then to Bostonor LA to San Francisco. It's just that the US has given up on improving its infrastructure.

  • by icebike ( 68054 ) on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @05:01PM (#42397963)

    The GP insists, first and foremost, that it not be subsidized by Government money (tax payers).

    That immediately sets an impossibly high barrier. One that can't be met by any transportation system, water system, sewer system, or communication system.

    Ignorance of the proper place for government expenditures is an unfortunate trait of ultra-conservative types. When any government involvement with societal life other than national defense is arbitrarily off the table, you have an impossible situation and a recipe for an agrarian society.

    Roads, and railroads, necessarily require government money and government powers. If one stubborn farmer can stand in the way of a road or railroad (as would be the case in a purely private development) it would be legally impossible to build anything, not just cost prohibitive.

    I suspect the GP never thinks about that while driving to work on that government road, or flushing his toilet to that government sewer while surfing the web on that government bandwidth.

  • Re:Marketing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by icebike ( 68054 ) on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @05:08PM (#42398051)

    This new train has an 8 to 10 hour scheduled travel time and covers 2100 km.

    That means it averages 210km/h including stops along the way (it's not direct).

    If there are any stops along the way you will need much greater speeds than 210km/h.
    I suggest the route is undoable in 10 hours if there is even a few stops unless the train spends a great deal of time at 300km/h.

  • Re:Therewhile ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Meyaht ( 2729603 ) on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @05:38PM (#42398337)

    Amtrak is fucking stupid. It costs as much or even more than a plane ticket and is like 10 times slower.

    well worth it if you're 6'6". plus i get smoke breaks.

  • Re:Therewhile ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dan667 ( 564390 ) on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @06:01PM (#42398537)
    you mean, dumping money down the drain on unneeded big ticket military contracts that often the military does not even want.
  • Re:Good for China (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tailhook ( 98486 ) on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @06:20PM (#42398701)

    I wonder why we don't make these kinds of railway advances in the US

    Really? You actually wonder about this?

    Since this should be self evident, I'll keep the explanation simple.

    China is run by authoritarians that are hell bent on prosperity. They do not indulge: environmentalists, humans rights, property rights or special interests that aren't immediately aligned with said goal. The rail line goes here and you step aside quietly or spend years of your life making Walmart SKUs in a labor camp. []

    The US is run by statists and the comfortable electorate they've purchased with bennies. Prosperity is something we have far too much of so we spend our time squabbling in court, creating whole new forms of legal jeapody and liability as we go. This precludes large scale, capital intensive ventures such as continental scale rail systems. The lead times to get through the legislatures, courts, etc. is just too damn long. Capital won't tolerate this and seeks better venues, most of which are in Asia.

    Enjoy your decline.

  • Re:Reference (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @06:32PM (#42398815)

    Hundreds of deaths in the past 2 years in China due to railway accidents? And you prefer to go by car (more than 60000 deaths due to car accidents in China per year)? China's railway system may not be up to European safety standards, but this worlds worst railway systems are still far safer than this worlds safest highways.


  • Re:Therewhile ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jalet ( 36114 ) <> on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @09:06PM (#42400137) Homepage

    From Rome to Berlin... Maybe you should open a map of Europe and see what's in between these two cities : Huge mountains. Try Paris to Barcelona instead (7h25), for example, and tell us if taking the plane is really worth it, considering all the security circus you've got to live with when taking planes and the fact that trains will bring you directly to near the center of each city.

  • Re:Therewhile ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Thursday December 27, 2012 @01:23AM (#42401587)
    I was astonished that there hasn't even been an oil refinery built in years. A natural disaster in the wrong place really screwed up the fuel supply just by cutting the roads to a couple of refineries.

You know you've been spending too much time on the computer when your friend misdates a check, and you suggest adding a "++" to fix it.