China’s high-speed rail on fast track – 7 new routes opened


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Several new high-speed railway links in China are expected to start operations by the end of 2013, extending the network to over 12,000 kilometers, more than half of the world total…

It is the last link in the chain between the most dynamic cities and manufacturing centers in east and south China, with a population over 700 million, and almost as large as Europe…”Convenient transport will…strengthen the links between the economic engines,” said Long Guanghui, director of DTZ Shenzhen.

The “engines” Long refers to are the Yangtze Delta, the Pearl River Delta, and the Western Taiwan Strait Economic Zone, which are connected by several high-speed rail links now, and may turn into a world-class urban belt on a par with the northeast coast of the United States, or the Seto Inland Sea of Japan, according to Chen Hongyu, counselor of Guangdong provincial government.

Other new high-speed rail lines which began services on Saturday include one in the northwestern province of Shaanxi, starting point of the ancient Silk Road, and another in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the bridgehead of China-ASEAN cooperation…

Huge shadow was cast in 2011 when a crash claimed 40 lives in east China. Since then, a series of corruption scandals have brought about the arrest of the former railways minister, Liu Zhijun, on charges of corruption and abuse of power…

“The former railways ministry was a mixture of administrative and commercial operations and a monopoly. It was a hotbed of corruption,” said Xiao Jun, a professor at Shenzhen University. “Besides investigating the accident and scandals, the government has taken action to solve institutional problems…”

Xiao Jun believes that what happened in the high-speed rail sector proves that fighting corruption will not hamper economic development…”On the contrary, it is the zero-tolerance of corruption and the improvement of systems that restored public confidence in the industry,” Xiao added.

He stressed that the world’s largest constructor and operator of high-speed rail must continuously eliminate institutional flaws, carry on the separation of government and enterprise, and enforce supervision of investment in the public sector.

It’s difficult for Western rail builders to compete when your country hasn’t suitable track or the inclination to build their own high speed rail system. France can compete – and does. The United States hasn’t a clue.

Yes, there are people in government, members of Congress who are fully aware of the benefits of high speed rail for transport as well as the commercial possibilities for domestic and mostly foreign consumption. They could probably carry enough votes to change the name of a railroad station somewhere on one of the coasts.

That’s it, folks.

One thought on “China’s high-speed rail on fast track – 7 new routes opened

  1. duāng says:

    “…the Chinese railroad industry is fast becoming a world leader. Chinese railroad companies are receiving more orders than ever before. The country’s rail, locomotive and rolling stock manufacturers are not just selling their products in China and in the developing countries of Asia and Africa, but are beginning to receive orders from the United States and Europe. German national railroad Deutsche Bahn will open a purchasing office in China this fall, which is alarming news for its main supplier, Siemens.
    …The development of China’s high-speed network is an epochal achievement. The first ultra-high-speed train began operating only eight years ago, and today the network covers 16,000 kilometers of track, more than the high-speed routes of all other countries combined. Some 2.5 million travelers use these routes every day, or a total of about three billion by the end of 2014. China has the longest and highest-altitude high-speed railroads, and the country’s (and the world’s) longest railroad bridge spans a distance of 164 kilometers.” DER SPIEGEL, August 20, 2015 http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/chinese-transport-industry-poses-growing-threat-to-germany-a-1048739.html

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