Author: ceciliazhang

China vs US: who is copying whom?   [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2017-9-30 16:32:04 |Display all floors
sfphoto Post time: 2017-9-30 10:51
China -- not the West -- built 20,000kms of high-speed rail in the last ten years and Japan -- not  ...

What an immensely abstruse and immature post! You have no idea how Europeans view high-speed trains. We have intercity lines where a train runs every full hour, sometimes every half hour. And our train stations are right where they are needed, not out in the boonies as they are in China. Thus we can do without high-speed trains on the majority of lines.

The fastest high-speed trains have been French Alstom Thalys. The top speed experimentally reached was 481 or 486 kms an hour. But it is not commercially viable to run trains at such speeds.

Your high-speed railways will one day cost you more than you are willing to pay. It is already cheaper to fly than to travel by high-speed trains on some routes. But a communist dictatorship is after all a regime that can prescribe Utopian dreams as mandatory hopes for all its people. Go dream on, young man - it is your duty. And it will be YOUR duty to foot the bill, not mine.


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Post time 2017-9-30 19:37:30 |Display all floors
seneca Post time: 2017-9-30 16:20
Oh Dee:r, I have wounded your heart with hard facts, haven't I? I am truly sorry but I can't hel ...

France was the first European country to launch the TGV high-speed train service in the 80s, two decades after Japan had already launched theirs. The Germans had the autobahn which is well supported by the German auto industry. That probably explains why the Germans were half-hearted in launching their high-speed train service even though both Bombardier and Siemens are based there.

But I think you miss my point about high-speed rail as transportation POLICY rather than as transportation TECHNOLOGY. Foreign suppliers of high-speed rail technology are relevant only in so far as their economic value is necessary to implement the transportation POLICY of China. Aside from that, they're irrelevant because they're just hired help. So it doesn't really matter if this or that technology came from the Germans or the Japanese or the French or Aliens from Outer Space.

China's decision to adopt high-speed rail technology is now validated by geopolitical events that have transpired over the last fifteen years. As a net importer of oil, China is highly vulnerable to supply disruptions in the Middle East. So it makes economic sense to reduce oil import dependence by promoting non-oil modes of transportation. And that's how high-speed rail became a matter of transportation POLICY because it is a mode of transportation that is not dependent upon oil.

But transportation POLICY will also affect the energy, power, real-estate and travel industries. That's why I believe that high-speed rail will fundamentally change China and the world in the 21st century because it will alter the geo-spatial relationship between the city and country, urban and rural, society and nature, just as the automobile in the 20th century.

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Post time 2017-9-30 20:29:00 |Display all floors
sfphoto Post time: 2017-9-30 19:37
France was the first European country to launch the TGV high-speed train service in the 80s, two d ...



There are too many erroneous beliefs expressed in your post, sfphoto; I don't want to risk taking issue with them all. Suffice to say you don't seem to know the history of railways. It will no doubt surprise you to learn that the U.S.A. had the worlds fastest trains for some time back in the 1960s, but these ran only in the Boston-New York-Washington corridor. The U.S.A. simply cannot at the moment be a high-speed train country because its rail lines are mainly dedicated to freight trains. The U.S.A. operates some of the heaviest freight trains. You cannot run trains that go at 200 klicks an hour on tracks where 6000 tonne freight trains move at their sedate speed.

The Germans experimented with trains going at 210 kms an hour already back in the 1930s; the French came up with a C'C' locomotive (i.e. a locomotive with two bogies of 3 axles and three motors each) in the late 1950s that could reach 331 kms an hour.

The average speeds of European express trains was already much higher in the 1960s than anywhere else in the world, say, 160 kms an hour in much of Germany and France. There was therefore little incentive to go faster. The main reason why high-speed railways were introduced was because both the airplane and the individual cars had become serious competitors for the trains.

What I see as a positive change in China has nothing to do with speed; it's to do with the changing ways of travelling. Until high-speed trains came along, a train journey was an extremely challenging proposition: you had to buy your ticket well in advance, had to choose a class and an accommodation on board, and often what you desired was not available. Then, if you were lucky, you could travel in quite cramped conditions albeit safely and relatively comfortably. I always enjoyed train travel in China. The high-speed trains run much more frequently and if you can't book a seat on the train of your preferred choice you are pretty likely to get a ticket for the same day This has revolutionized modern life. People now book and travel more often just on an impulse. You can now travel in off seasons and avoid the peak travel times. There are people who now commute between two cities weekly or even daily - in the past this would have been unthinkable.

But high-speed trains do not lessen the impact on the environment. Their CO2 output is considerably higher than that of other trains. I do not see how these trains help China lessen its dependency on imported crude. They do not replace trains with combustion engines - they offer transport to travelers who would otherwise go by bus or airplane, or not travel at all Those who have a car of their own will continue driving it.

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Post time 2017-10-1 08:18:22 |Display all floors
sfphoto Post time: 2017-9-29 03:13
Sure. Foreign companies supplied the industrial designs for high-speed trainsets that were manufac ...

On a thread entitled "who is copying whom" and our last few post discussions around that topic, you sure like to divert when you have nowhere left to go .....

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Post time 2017-10-1 17:26:33 |Display all floors
This post was edited by sfphoto at 2017-10-1 17:43
seneca Post time: 2017-9-30 20:29
There are too many erroneous beliefs expressed in your post, sfphoto; I don't want to risk takin ...

You just proved my point that high-speed rail is a matter of transportation POLICY not a question of transportation TECHNOLOGY. The fact that Japan was the first to launch high-speed rail as a commercial service does not imply IPSO FACTO that they're the only ones with the technical capability to do so. The Germans could have done so if they had wanted to but the French -- not the Germans -- became the first in Europe to launch their TGV service while the Spanish -- not the Germans -- built the longest high-speed rail network in Europe even though the two leading vendors of high-speed trains -- Bombardier and Siemens -- are based in Germany.

How that came to be must be due to the dominance of the auto industry in Germany which explains why the Germans were half-hearted in supporting high-speed rail. Ditto for the oil industry in the USA which explains why not a single km of high-speed rail line has been built in America except for California which is now being blocked by the U.S. Republican Party under the Trump Administration.

In China, high-speed rail has now become so dominant in inter-city travel that airlines are now cutting back on short-haul flights. In Chengdu, high-speed rail has changed the lifestyle of local residents who now spend their weekends escaping to the countryside. What used to take three hours by car now takes one hour by high-speed rail. That change in the geo-spatial relationship between the Chengdu city and the Sichuan countryside has triggered a boom in the travel/tourism, sports/outdoors, wellness/retirement and other consumer services industries.

Not content with the old trains-on-rail technology, Japan has now broken ground on the "Chuo Shinkasen" high-speed maglev project which will link Tokyo to Nagoya. China likewise has already launched its own low-speed maglev service in Changsha and is completing another low-speed maglev project in Beijing. South Korea too has already launched its own low=speed maglev service in Incheon.

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