Africa's first high speed train : The Al-Boraq across Morocco at 320 km/h

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cirdan

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I understand Egypt is building a high speed line as well .
 

jis

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True High Speed Rail in India, while currently under construction, is currently projected to be ready for inauguration in 2028.

Meanwhile there will be progressively more "higher speed" 100mph service, and maybe a few 125mph service too. All new rolling stock being deployed in India (we are talking over 8,000 passenger cars per year) is capable of 100mph operation as delivered and easy to upgrade to 125mph, but there is no routes available to run them at that speed yet. There are a route or two which allow operation of specific trains at 100mph. Those routes are all equipped with ETCS Level 2, and Indian Railways Safety Directorate has decreed that nothing shall operate above 80 mph without ETCS Level 2.

BTW, that Moroccan train looks suspiciously like an Avelia of some sort, or at least a TGV derivative. Upon further inspection, they are indeed TGV Euroduplexes. They have only 16 trainsets for the current operations.
 

VentureForth

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Is this line also funded and built by the Chinese Communist Construction Company? I hear many of the African nations that have relied on China's investment owe them heavily.
 

cirdan

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BTW, that Moroccan train looks suspiciously like an Avelia of some sort, or at least a TGV derivative. Upon further inspection, they are indeed TGV Euroduplexes. They have only 16 trainsets for the current operations.
Moroccan railways have traditionally followed French practice, with Alstom being the main supplier, and several locomotive classes presently in use being near-identical clones of French types.
 

cirdan

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Is this line also funded and built by the Chinese Communist Construction Company? I hear many of the African nations that have relied on China's investment owe them heavily.
I doubt it. They would be using Chinese trains if this was the case, not French.

But that's not to say there isn't some level of corruption in play. The French are very good at securing orders from their ex colonies in Africa.
 

cirdan

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There is a long term project to build a rail tunnel under the Straits of Gibraltar. This would permit a linking up of the Spanish and Moroccan high speed rail systems. The project is going to be very expensive though, not least because it will need to cross geological fault lines and need to go down very deep as the sea is very deep in this location. This would require very long approach ramps on either side, longer probably than the sea crossing proper.
 

jis

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Is this line also funded and built by the Chinese Communist Construction Company? I hear many of the African nations that have relied on China's investment owe them heavily.
No Chinese money in this AFAICT....


As far as the Belt and Road Initiative goes China is now working overtime to try to figure out how to collect on those loans and how to find some quality lipstick to put on the pig short of writing off a whole bunch of loans. Most of the funded projects do not produce anywhere near the returns to pay back the loans at even the favorable terms they were given under. They are trying though to put up a good front and not backing away from it, never mind their annual loan levels have reduced from $75 billion to $3.5 billion.
 
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George Harris

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HS is popping up everywhere... including India, the Middle East, and SE Asia. The Americas... North and South... lag behind the rest of the world with rail technology. Lots of info available on HS development...
The problem is political not technological. The technology is well understood by many in the railway engineering field in this country. There is the general feeling by many in the field that the first step toward getting anything built needs to be to shoot all the politicians. (If you don't get this is a joke, I feel sorry for you. I don't want someone making a call so that I have to explain this to the FBI.) If California had moved at something close to the same rate as the HSR in Taiwan, we would be riding trains by now, and the only reasons this has not happened have been financial and obstructionism on many level. Quite a few of the people involved in the HSR in Taiwan were in California at the time the designs were being developed trying their best to apply "lessons learned" to CAHSR. There was also the factor of some people involved in positions of authority "knowing just enough to be dangerous" mudding the waters.
 

MARC Rider

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The problem is political not technological. The technology is well understood by many in the railway engineering field in this country. There is the general feeling by many in the field that the first step toward getting anything built needs to be to shoot all the politicians. (If you don't get this is a joke, I feel sorry for you. I don't want someone making a call so that I have to explain this to the FBI.) If California had moved at something close to the same rate as the HSR in Taiwan, we would be riding trains by now, and the only reasons this has not happened have been financial and obstructionism on many level. Quite a few of the people involved in the HSR in Taiwan were in California at the time the designs were being developed trying their best to apply "lessons learned" to CAHSR. There was also the factor of some people involved in positions of authority "knowing just enough to be dangerous" mudding the waters.
It's not just the politicians who are obstructionist. Haven't there been problems with NIMBYs and landowners along the way who have made acquiring the land needed difficult? There may also be issues the the excessive complexity of managing public contracts, but I guess that can be partly blamed on politicians, too, as they wrote the procurement laws, yet don't fund the agencies sufficiently to allow the hiring of enough experienced staff to manage the contracts.
 

George Harris

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It's not just the politicians who are obstructionist. Haven't there been problems with NIMBYs and landowners along the way who have made acquiring the land needed difficult? There may also be issues the the excessive complexity of managing public contracts, but I guess that can be partly blamed on politicians, too, as they wrote the procurement laws, yet don't fund the agencies sufficiently to allow the hiring of enough experienced staff to manage the contracts.
NIMBYism, even rational NIMBYism, if there is such a thing, gets a lot if its mileage out of posturing politicians. Landowners are sometimes irrational, but again without being enables by politicians much of this is also curable. The, "it will panic my cattle" is a classic. If you ride the trains in the central valley, the cattle may not even look up even though you on a diesel train blowing its horn for road crossings. Invite the concerned landowners out to watch. There was also in California the truly irrational decision to not be elevated throughout the valley. Elevating the railroad throughout the farming and urban areas was done in Taiwan and it makes a major landowner concern disappear, that is accessibility across the railroad. It also is very useful in reducing incursions and trespassing. It eliminates problems with grades in road crossings and conflicts with underground facilities.
 

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My favorite NIMBY wanted to stop the RTD West Line which was a former interurban route. Houses were "too close" to the tracks -- because they were built that way before WWII to make it a short walk to the stations.

During WWII the line carried ammunition trains for the Remington Arms Company plant past those houses. Eventually things for the modern LRT line were worked out with neighbors who had concerns or specific issues. No one asked if we were going to handle ammunition again.
 

VentureForth

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NIMBYs don't seem to be preventing highway construction to the same degree that they stop rail projects. Maybe rail developers need to hire more highway project managers.
I think the biggest difference is that most who would be disrupted by rail construction can't utilize the service they are being disrupted for. Highways, on the other hand, benefit way more people way more readily.
 

George Harris

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If people truly understood the difference in cost of a lane-mile of road in the northeast and other heavily urbanized areas versus more spread out and rural areas, people all over the country would be pushing for rail projects to be built in urbanized areas. On the other hand, many of these urban area rail projects cost far more than they ought to, even given the effects of urbanization.
 

cirdan

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As far as the Belt and Road Initiative goes China is now working overtime to try to figure out how to collect on those loans and how to find some quality lipstick to put on the pig short of writing off a whole bunch of loans. Most of the funded projects do not produce anywhere near the returns to pay back the loans at even the favorable terms they were given under. They are trying though to put up a good front and not backing away from it, never mind their annual loan levels have reduced from $75 billion to $3.5 billion.
I understand many people in Africa are disillusioned at Chinese cooperation and feel it has not delivered the improvements that were promised. For example on the Kenyan railroad project the Chinese brought most of their own salaried staff from China rather than employing or training local people how to operate the railroad. The railroad is not delivering the economic upturn that was promised either, and many feel it is just a vanity project by the ruling class to spend a lot of money on something that isn't making all that much of a difference.

As word gets around, this makes it likely others won't be rushing to get similar projects.
 

MARC Rider

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I guess the US space programme could be based on copying the German rocket programme in WW2?
"Copying" the German rocket program? They recruited as much of the staff as they could, after the war. Think Werner von Braun, "It's not my department where they come down." And many more, not so well known. Search "Operation Paperclip" for more information.
 

jis

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Chinese trains are actually knock offs of Japanese trains. It's called stolen technology. The Chinese are masters of it.
Actually it is both Japanese and German. There are quite a lot of almost exact copies of Velaros running around in China.

"Copying" the German rocket program? They recruited as much of the staff as they could, after the war. Think Werner von Braun, "It's not my department where they come down." And many more, not so well known. Search "Operation Paperclip" for more information.
Yup. Same can be said of the Jet Aircraft program in the US too. The likes of Boeing, General Dynamics and Douglas swept up any and every stray engineer involved in the jet program in Germany. The outcome was vast advances in swept wing aircraft design and development of sophisticated aeroelastic wings. Led to the likes of the 707.

Actually it is fortunate that the US did not "copy" the German rocket program but created their own very different programs hiring the brains behind the technology used in the German Rocket program. The one big problem with the German Rocket program was that it was spectacularly mismanaged.
 

George Harris

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Actually it is fortunate that the US did not "copy" the German rocket program but created their own very different programs hiring the brains behind the technology used in the German Rocket program. The one big problem with the German Rocket program was that it was spectacularly mismanaged.
And that was not the only thing. The German enthrallment with mechanical complexity hurt them in many ways during the war, thankfully. Read up on Rommel's operations in North Africa. The German tank's issues with the desert climate and the maintenance effort necessary to keep them functional was a major factor in his ultimate defeat. In contrast, the US tanks were mechanically simple using multiple automobile engines that most GI's know how to play with. Read up on the German invasion of the Soviet Union. It is stated in one source that one of the main deterrents to the speed of the invasion other than Stalin's edict of a "scorched earth" retreat, meaning leaving nothing behind that was useful to the invaders, was the rate of progress in the German regauging the railroad line to Moscow from 1520mm to 1435mm so that German equipment could be operated on it. Years back when I was working for the L&N there was a letter circulating in the office that had been written at the time it was done describing how they regauged the Nashville to Birmingham main line from 5'-0" to 4'-8 1/2" in one day. That is 210 miles of main track in one day done in something like1880.
 

Scott Orlando

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I dont think its accurate to compare Redstone, Atlas, or Saturn to a V-2. Yes, people were brought in from Germany for the experience they possessed - but the ultimate product was vastly superior. Granted we blew up a lot of stuff at the Cape on the way (ala SpaceX)
 
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