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China Relaunches World's Fastest Train (fortune.com) 118

China has decided to relaunch the world's fastest train service following a fatal crash in 2011, where the high speed train service reduced its upper limit from its then-record holding 350 km/h (217 miles/hour) to 250-300 km/h (155-186 miles/hour). Fortune reports: Government-controlled website Thepaper.cn reported that seven pairs of bullet trains will be operating under the name "Fuxing," meaning rejuvenation, according to the South China Morning Post. The trains will once again run at 350 km/h, with a maximum speed of 400 km/h (248 mph). It is reported that the train service will boast a monitoring system that will automatically slow the trains in case of emergency. The Beijing-Shanghai line will begin operating on 21 September and will shorten the nearly 820 mile journey by an hour, to four hours thirty minutes. Nearly 600 million people use this route each year, providing a reported $1 billion in profits . Other routes include Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, which will begin operation today.
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China Relaunches World's Fastest Train

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  • by Harold Halloway ( 1047486 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @03:05AM (#55061513)

    It is reported that the train service will boast a monitoring system that will automatically slow the trains in case of emergency.

    Most trains will tend to slow down in the case of an emergency. The question is how quickly they slow down and what they hit whilst doing so.

    • by bluegutang ( 2814641 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @04:36AM (#55061689)

      It doesn't matter. 1.44 billion people took Chinese high speed rail in 2016, perhaps 10 billion total in the history of Chinese HSR. In all this time, there has been one crash causing 40 deaths. Had all these people driven cars instead, the number of crash deaths would have been many times higher.

      • And had they taken airplanes, there wouldn't have been space in the sky and airports for all the planes.

      • While the Chinese are moving at > 200mph, the US' flagship service, the Acela Express, toddles along at around 80mph average, although some runs like Boston are more like 60mph, a figure first reached by a steam locomotive in 1848.
        • But we can't invest in trains in the US because trains aren't profitable! (Ignores all trains that are profitable, including, uh, the Acela Express, and the vast majority of high speed systems world wide)
    • Most trains will tend to slow down in the case of an emergency. The question is how quickly they slow down and what they hit whilst doing so.

      The trick is not slowing down, it's detecting the emergency. Most trains don't do this very well at all.

  • It's only fastest for a short while... then they have to relaunch it again.

    ba dum tss

  • by Anonymous Coward

    12'000 miles include also rails capable of 200km/h only.
    The 300 km/h capable rails are today around 6'000 miles.
    Also as I know the high speed economics in France, I have the feeling that high speed train are not economally sustainable: TGV are becoming way too expensive, and SNCF is losing money on the overall high speed trains.
    Here China Rail authority has a debt of over $600 billions. It will be bailed out by the government. Hey it is owned by the government !
    As with these c919 planes heavily subsidized,

    • by TechyImmigrant ( 175943 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @04:08AM (#55061647) Homepage Journal

      > It will be bailed out by the government. Hey it is owned by the government !

      Just like roads. They are economically unsustainable also. They make zero profit. That's why any country with roads is in a worse state economically than countries without roads.

      • by hord ( 5016115 )

        Roads don't make profits? You mean I don't pay for fuel taxes, tolls, or tickets while driving on road surfaces? You might want to ask any city that relies on speeding tickets for revenue if they make money or not. Where do they get all the shiny patrol cars and military training? It could be from asset forfeiture on one of these non-profitable roads. I forgot that stealing property can't be considered income so maybe you are correct.

      • In the US, roads are actually profitable when you factor in the gas taxes paid. In fact, road taxes (via the gas tax) pays for big subsidies for transit and air travel...
        • OK. For everyone who didn't get the subtext, it is that the benefits of infrastructure spending and transport subsidy are far outweighed by the economic benefit. It was written in the way it was written to mirror the erroneous logic of the prior posting stating that trains are unsustainable because they cost a lot.

          If you need explanations of any other instances of humor or sarcasm or unconstrained piss taking, please consult with a normal human who speaks English.

          • No, I got the sarcasm, but also wanted to point out the fallacy that in the US roads "cost money". No, they actually MAKE money, enough to pay for themselves AND transit funding - all off the gas tax alone. The economic benefit of not being Elbonia is just a bonus...
    • All plane manufacturers are subsidized. It's just every country does it in different ways. Chine is less subtle about it. Bombardier just got a nice loan from the province of Quebec. Every time Boeing needs a hand a lucrative contract from the military. Airbus complains about Boeing getting unfair subsidies and Boing complains Airbus is getting them. Bombardier complains that Embraer is unfairly subsidized and I'm sure that they do the same. Everyone complains about the the others while having their hand o

      • Yeah, everyone gets more from the government except the people that pay taxes. I live in this shitty-ass backwater province of Quebec, and I need medical care. A series of "family doctors" and specialists all more useless than the next, only interested in a mechanical approach of one symptom, one test, one pill. And if you complain about pain that doesn't show up on a test, then it's in your head and you need a psychologist.

        But we make nice planes no one wants with that 50% that is stolen from my paycheck e

      • Not just planes. We the taxpayer get screwed period. Ask the people in Wisconsin in a few years. Or the people in NC after the Dell thing. Or even the people in Austin if all those tax breaks to corps to come here paid off. Nope, MY property taxes are thru the roof and the city is falling apart, but hey more tax breaks to bring more companies in that don't have to pay to come. Then of course anyone big enough challenges the taxing authority that their massive hotel is not worth the appraisal, and they have

  • by JasterBobaMereel ( 1102861 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @03:44AM (#55061603)

    Just the fastest train service ...

    Passenger trains have gone faster (one offs), manned trains have gone much faster (632 mph), Unmanned trains have gone ridiculously fast (6,416 mph)

    • Aren't those just rockets on guidance tracks though? I mean, it's cool, but not much use for public transport.
      • Conventional Passenger Train on normal tracks world record is : 357.2 mph - French TGV

        This was a one off .. normal service is slower due to safety concerns

    • by Anonymous Coward

      There are as many ways to judge a rail speed record as there are countries trying for it. The French rely on old fashioned locomotives pulling and pushing passive rolling stock, the locomotives being fitted with gas turbine engines to avoid dealing with the problem of keeping electrical contact with an overhead wire or third rail at high speeds without it being melted by the friction. They hold the absolute record (excluding maglevs), reached by removing all the unpowered carriages, and just running a pai

  • whether this train will live up to its clams over the long run may be in doubt, but china is at least trying to build something, that at very least claims to benefit its citizens.
    at the same time usa is wasting lot more money and lives continuing unwinnable wars, causing huge destructions and deaths, creating ever more terrorists, directly in contradiction to wishes of american voters, who wanted less foreign entanglements and interventions, and wanted domestic development "first".

    • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @04:48AM (#55061715)

      I agree that the US has been going in the wrong direction for some time but I do not envy the Chinese. There is a lot of people suffering there and it's not just because of their totalitarian government, they have giant looming issues that are one disruption from crumbling their empire.

      Right now China is economically dependant on the rest of the world using them as a manufacturing hub while keeping money from leaving their country by devaluing their currency and levying huge import taxes. This has multiple issue:

      * It's paradoxical because as it lifts the Chinese people up, they want better conditions which is actually causing jobs to go elsewhere and making manufacturers more reliant on automation. Either way, the result is that it's bad for the Chinese economy.
      * China has strict environmental standards but only use it to prevent foreign companies from doing business there. If the EU or US actually insist on compliance, it will cause production to be less cost effective and again cause economic issues.
      * There has been a housing bubble in China but the problem is that nobody can afford to live their. The result is entire cities that are sparsely populated. When this comes crashing down, it will be absolutely devastating for China.
      * Their stock market is currently being propped up by their government.
      * The pollution in cities is absurdly high and is causing lung cancer in a lot of people. An increased percentage of the population dying isn't good in the long run because people may leave the cities out of fear or cause civil unrest but this is an outlying issue.

      China isn't even a great place to be right now (Beijing has what they call "the poverty belt" that surrounds it) and while they do their best to present a good image, they are one bad issue away from economic collapse. A "trade war" with China would destabilize their country in a big way.

      • China is not devaluing their currency, the currency is bound to the US$
        There is no real housing bubble, the empty cities are build by the government ... sigh
        Regarding its economy depending on the global market, I really doubt that.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          China's yuan loosely tracks the USD but it is not bound to it. China revalues its currency against the USD when it resets its reference rate of how many yuan equals a USD. Devaluation is done, for example, when the USD appreciates and China wants to boost exports, because then the USD (the world's reserve currency) can buy more of the now cheaper Chinese yuan goods.

          China has a huge housing bubble because the government pours so much money into construction. This creates a lot of empty unaffordable housing b

        • The RMB is not pegged [forbes.com]. The HKD is pegged to a narrow band, but the RMB is manipulated as Beijing deems so that they can have an accelerator on the import/export/production side of the economy. In the last 2 years, the RMB has gone from ~6.3 to one USD to ~7 to one USD, and now sits about 6.7 RMB to the USD. It's more ""volatile" compared to the EUR:USD exchange rate. Would that mean the EUR is pegged to the USD?

          And there definitely is a housing bubble in China [forbes.com]. Three years ago, my wife (Shanghainese)

      • I can't mod up Gravis Zero because this excellent post is already rated at 5 points, but I totally agree with it. I've spent a little time in China this decade and had a couple of girlfriends who were from there and I can tell you that there are plenty of people who would love to leave it and move to America with all of America's "problems". Some people do care a lot about political freedom and safety issues. Can you imagine going to the grocery store in the USA, Canada, the EU, Japan, Australia, etc. a
      • The air pollution in China is terrible. Any images I've seen show the background disappearing in a haze. You can't see the water or other problems with contaminated soil or crops.
        • Much like Europe in the 19th century. China went from the equivalent of 16th century Europe to the 20th in about 30 years. There's no reason to think they can't overcome the same gains we made in 100 years in a single generation.
          So enjoy the view from the high horse while you still have it...
      • ...it's not just because of their totalitarian government

        All of these problems are side-effects of their totalitarian government. It is far too difficult for a totalitarian government to be simultaneously aware of all the problems that need to be addressed, and no individual under the rule of a totalitarian government wants to take responsibility for anything besides their own well-being because that would be doing work for which someone else (the totalitarian government) is responsible. Thus, any attempt to fix these problems while respecting the totalitarian g

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You don't really know what you're talking about. Everything you said has been spoon fed to you by the media. In the west, it's politically correct to denounce China and dismiss her progress at every possible chance, be it due to anti-communism sentiment or Euro-centric hubris. Just look at any Chinese literature or movie that's won awards from the west. Each and every one of them must paint China in some negative light one way or another. That's the bottom line for western approval.

      • "There has been a housing bubble in China but the problem is that nobody can afford to live their." :P

      • I agree that the US has been going in the wrong direction for some time but I do not envy the Chinese. There is a lot of people suffering there and it's not just because of their totalitarian government, they have giant looming issues that are one disruption from crumbling their empire.

        Right now China is economically dependant on...

        All of this is also true for every other country, except China has a plan and a system of government that can execute a plan. Meanwhile the US has a bunch of infants pissing in their nappies.
        Sure China ain't great, but if you had to have a bet on who will be ahead in a hundred years, my money isn't on the the US (as much as I would like it to be).

        • Past 25 years, very few predictions are relevant, including yours. As for me, I think we're going to see a few of tiny changes that will ultimately lead to a far more representative government and begin cleaning up the political mess we're in.

        • New Zealand. Less fallout.

    • china has cheap copy's of others and safety is pushed to the side and about wars they are pro North Korea

    • at the same time usa is wasting lot more money and lives continuing unwinnable wars, causing huge destructions and deaths, creating ever more terrorists, directly in contradiction to wishes of american voters, who wanted less foreign entanglements and interventions, and wanted domestic development "first".

      As far as I can tell, Trump and the Republican Congress haven't started any new wars, and Trump has been pushing pressure on Europeans to pay for their own defense. So, I'm not exactly sure what you're ref

  • Maybe 'relaunch' wasn't the ideal word to choose.

  • by stereoroid ( 234317 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @04:13AM (#55061655) Homepage Journal

    That's Fuxing quick!

  • When the train hits top speed passengers will be well and truly fuxed.
    • Yep. I thought Fukuppy was the accidentally best name evar, but I think this may be right up there too

  • I would count the Chinese huge high-sped rail network as one of the modern day seven wonders. And it looks like they are ripping huge economical benefits from it. It is funny how in the game of Civilization everyone knows to prioritize the roads, but in the real world most countries fail to pull off such massive infrastructure projects with reasonable speed.

    I hope China does manage to take their rail network global, as planned.

  • There is a regular maglev that operates from Shanghai airport to Pudong that regularly reaches 431 km/h (I know because I took a picture of the speedometer when I took this train last month).
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I took that maglev back to the airport a few months ago when I left Shanghai.
      Very interesting to ride on it, had a kind of theme park feel to the experience,
      which struck me as part of the problem with it... If you are staying in a Hotel
      any downtown (which is what most people would choose to do) it is completely
      useless. You have to take a long taxi ride to get the station, and the train goes
      along a track that seems to just run along the side of the highway. But you'd
      have to get out of the taxi, get your lug

      • You missed the point of that train. The point is NOT taking a cab. It is connected to the subway network, which allows you to go anywhere in the city. Cabs are much more expensive and can be stuck in traffic.

      • Shanghai is supposed to extend the line to People's Square by 2019, then out to Hongqiao by 2021. That would make a cross-town (PVG to SHA)trip about 30 minutes, as opposed to 1.5 (taxi) to 2 (subway line 2) hours.
  • by Katatsumuri ( 1137173 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2017 @04:54AM (#55061733)

    I would count the Chinese huge high speed rail network as one of the modern seven wonders. And they seem to enjoy great economical benefits from it. It is funny how in the game of Civilization, everyone knows to prioritize the roads, but in the real world most countries cannot pull off such huge infrastructure projects with reasonable speed, or at all.

    I hope China does manage to take their rail network global, as planned.

  • ...after some good fuxing.

  • I know everyone is making fun of the name, but let's be serious here. China's track record for public safety is rather poor with things like falling elevators and collapsing escalators, so all things considered I think we need to consider that there is a good chance this train could Fuxing crash!
  • The train crash in 2011 was caused by the chinese decsion to buy a single example of the german Siemens brand track safety system, reverse engineer it with a focus on reducing the supposedly too high price tag and install their high-speed railway line with an "economically" produced domestic copycat. However, the cheap chinese knock-off track safety malfunctioned during a thunderstorm, causing one train to stop autmatically, but the other coming behind continued at full speed and rammed it with tremendous f

  • So China is resurrecting an ultra-modern rail service that allows people to travel from Shanghai to Beijing in 4.5 hours. This will save a million person-hours a year -- 1 million trips at 1 hour saved per trip.

    Meanwhile the US is resurrecting its coal industry which will save pension plans billions of dollars a year by poisoning people to death younger and make billions of dollars more for the wealth mine owners.
  • Nearly 600 million people use this route each year, providing a reported $1 billion in profits

    Well, that's the nice thing: government-run enterprises can "report" any profit they like, since they can provide vast amounts of hidden subsidies. For example, $1 billion probably doesn't even account for the rent the land would yield if it was put to other uses.

  • ... with all these Fuxing puns.
  • Way to distribute Chinese propaganda, Slashdot ...

    The Chinese won't pay the dollars it takes to send their kids to highschool (as is the case in most provinces), but exotic trains for the government elite, oh yeah, let's do that.

    A free market would kill this nonsense right away.
    • Way to distribute Chinese propaganda, Slashdot ... ...but exotic trains for the government elite...

      600 million passengers per year, it's right there in the summary. Unless the word elite means something different where you live...

      • >> It's right there in the propaganda

        FTFY

        Hugo Chavez died with $2 billion in his pockets because he wanted to help "the masses". You know better than to fall for this.
        • >> It's right there in the propaganda FTFY Hugo Chavez died with $2 billion in his pockets because he wanted to help "the masses". You know better than to fall for this.

          I've been to China, I've seen people on the trains with my own eyes.
          But feel free to dismiss reality because it doesn't fit your ideology...

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