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Sunday, February 14, 2010

China's Trains

China's creating a huge network of high speed trains, as France and Japan have. The existing trains are already competing with plains.

Goals:
  • Create a nationwide network of high speed trains in China.
  • Create a domestic industry for High Speed Rail for exporting.
  • Increase efficiency of China's transportation system. The advantage that by having separate rail lines for passengers this increases the freight capacity of the freight lines. High speed rails may also reduce the need for some roads.
Challenges
  • High maintenance cost of the rails. Due to the high speed the rails need to be kept in perfect shape.
  • Potential subsidiary issues - The question that I truthfully have not figured out is the cost compared to air planes and cars with the hidden subsidiaries and costs that each have, how do these compare to the cost of a high speed train. For a high speed trains to be successful there needs to be a highly populated urban areas as well as feeder public transportation (translation, most of the US does not have this as compared to Europe and Japan where the economics make more sense).
  • Cost of tickets at the current average wages in China.

China Sees Growth Engine in a Web of Fast Trains - NY Times.

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