High Speed Rail in China

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

pennyk

Conductor
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
10,278
This article/video "Why is China so good at railways?" was forwarded to me by a railfan, who is no longer active on AU. I found it very interesting.

 

cpotisch

Conductor
Joined
Sep 2, 2017
Messages
7,511
Ah, good old Wendover Productions. Great channel for anyone interested with airlines and aircraft. :)
 

flitcraft

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
481
High speed rail in China is one of the most remarkable transportation achievements anywhere, ever. I was just in Beijing two weeks ago and took the train to Shanghai, then another high speed train later on to Suzhou.  Not just quick but smooth and comfortable travel, and so easy for a non-Chinese speaker (or more exactly, someone whose Chinese is weak enough that I often don't bother to try!)   The only downside is that rail photography is impossible--nothing but a smear of color when I tried to take pictures from my seat. 
 

cpotisch

Conductor
Joined
Sep 2, 2017
Messages
7,511
High speed rail in China is one of the most remarkable transportation achievements anywhere, ever. I was just in Beijing two weeks ago and took the train to Shanghai, then another high speed train later on to Suzhou.  Not just quick but smooth and comfortable travel, and so easy for a non-Chinese speaker (or more exactly, someone whose Chinese is weak enough that I often don't bother to try!)   The only downside is that rail photography is impossible--nothing but a smear of color when I tried to take pictures from my seat. 
Agreed. I would also mention that they have by far the fastest train in the world, the 267 mph Shanghai Maglev, which also costs about $8 per ride. :eek:
 

flitcraft

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
481
I've taken the Maglev; I expected it to be a smooth ride, since you're traveling on a cushion of air. Nope, it's actually a surprisingly rough ride. But fast!
 

daybeers

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 6, 2016
Messages
710
I've taken the Maglev; I expected it to be a smooth ride, since you're traveling on a cushion of air. Nope, it's actually a surprisingly rough ride. But fast!
Huh interesting! I'd have thought it would be at least just as smooth if not smoother.
 

cpotisch

Conductor
Joined
Sep 2, 2017
Messages
7,511
I've taken the Maglev; I expected it to be a smooth ride, since you're traveling on a cushion of air. Nope, it's actually a surprisingly rough ride. But fast!
Well, maglev trains technically don't travel on a cushion of air - they travel on a cushion of a magnetic field.
 

Ziv

OBS Chief
Joined
Oct 25, 2011
Messages
630
I haven't had a chance to ride the high speed rail lines in China, but I did ride on the medium speed night trains, and they were a lot of fun. I think they were Z's with open 4 bed compartments. The food was surprisingly good and the samovar/hot water dispenser for tea was the hotspot for discussing tea options. They put in everything you could imagine, from tea leaves, of course, to what looks like black eyed susan flowers to what i swear was a dried up squid into the little steeping compartment on their tea jugs. I said yes to the flower but no to the squid.

The other fun thing about non-HSR in China is the group exercises in the morning. Everyone got up at 7am or so and half an hour later we all were doing standing calisthenics, with a train employee calling out the cadence.  This was followed by tea, of course. I think that frequently the less expensive the train, the more fun the people. At least it seemed that way in Thailand and China. Though the really cheap trains, like the 3rd class trains in Thailand with the wooden seats, are kind of a pain.
 

Rover

OBS Chief
AU Supporter
Joined
May 13, 2015
Messages
631
It's amazing what they can do with all our Wal Mart dollars!
It's amazing what I can do with my dollars at Wal Mart & Sams...

I just watched the OP's video and was going to post it, until I found it here.

The CA high speed boondoggle. It will never pay for itself.
 

AutoTrDvr

OBS Chief
Joined
May 29, 2012
Messages
623
I believe Japan has the "top dog" status now with a 607kph Maglev High Speed Rail.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

cpotisch

Conductor
Joined
Sep 2, 2017
Messages
7,511
On 12/31/2018 at 1:05 AM, AutoTrDvr said:

I believe Japan has the "top dog" status now with a 607kph Maglev High Speed Rail.

That video is complete and utter nonsense. Most of those claims are blatantly and completely incorrect, and include test speeds, theoretical speeds, and other figures that never occur in normal service.
 

Devil's Advocate

Conductor
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
11,443
It's amazing what I can do with my dollars at Wal Mart & Sams... I just watched the OP's video and was going to post it, until I found it here. The CA high speed boondoggle. It will never pay for itself.
I'm still waiting for Interstates 10, 35, & 37 to pay for themselves.  How about Loop 410 and 1604?  What about our intrastate highways and tollways?  Those never seem to pay for themselves either.  What about our general aviation services and commercial airports?  The list just of non-recoverable transportation related expenses is massive and yet passenger rail is somehow expected to earn a profit while nearly everything else is given a pass.

I believe Japan has the "top dog" status now with a 607kph Maglev High Speed Rail.
Meaningful status comes from factual evidence of things that actually exist.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Anderson

Conductor
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
9,567
A few tollways get away with it (OOCEA et al seem to be doing well enough), but the point is taken.
 

seat38a

Conductor
Joined
Jan 26, 2014
Messages
2,025
It's amazing what I can do with my dollars at Wal Mart & Sams...

I just watched the OP's video and was going to post it, until I found it here.

The CA high speed boondoggle. It will never pay for itself.
It's also amazing what can be done, when ones government can just seize your land and build a straight line through the densest part of the city or town.  ;)  Don't like it, a little "Re Eduction" should change your mind.  :D
 
  • Like
Reactions: JRR

Rover

OBS Chief
AU Supporter
Joined
May 13, 2015
Messages
631
It's also amazing what can be done, when ones government can just seize your land and build a straight line through the densest part of the city or town.  ;)  Don't like it, a little "Re Eduction" should change your mind.  :D
The needs of the Many outweigh the needs of the few.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Devil's Advocate

Conductor
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
11,443
The needs of the Many outweigh the needs of the few.
I just want to know whose land is being forcibly seized and leveled in order to build more public transportation in Orange County.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Anderson

Conductor
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
9,567
In many respects, the issue isn't that some sort of eminent domain process happens (or even that it might be expedited).  The issue is that the Chinese are pretty bad at both (1) providing for compensation and (2) making sure that people actually get the compensation that is theoretically theirs.  IIRC with the Three Gorges Dam, there was an issue with both too little money being set aside to relocate the displaced villages and their residents and with something like half of the set-aside funds being siphoned off.
 

jis

Conductor
AU Lifetime Supporter
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
25,709
Meanwhile in India the HSR between Mumbai and Ahmedabad is at least for now stuck dead in the water of eminent domain related local political and legal battles. No one apparently can quite figure out how all that will resolve as of now. They are apparently blocked from digging certain tunnels that they need to reach Mumbai.
 

Ziv

OBS Chief
Joined
Oct 25, 2011
Messages
630
In many respects, the issue isn't that some sort of eminent domain process happens (or even that it might be expedited).  The issue is that the Chinese are pretty bad at both (1) providing for compensation and (2) making sure that people actually get the compensation that is theoretically theirs.  IIRC with the Three Gorges Dam, there was an issue with both too little money being set aside to relocate the displaced villages and their residents and with something like half of the set-aside funds being siphoned off.
Eminent domain in China is (or was) pretty much the government says "You must leave by such and such a date and you may or may not get compensation." They even have a certain symbol that they spray paint on the walls of the condemned area that is a public announcement of the status. Once the spray paint hits the wall everyone has 3 months to get out.

Chinese people/families have the right to the use of a piece of land or an apartment, but it sounds like they only have that right for 70 years, it doesn't sound like they own it outright. Maybe comparable to owning the air rights of a piece of land in the States. So if the Chinese government wants to develop a hutong and the people/family living there have been there for 40 years, they may only get 30/70th of the value. Or so it seemed when I was talking to people in Beijing, but half wouldn't talk to me. I visited Beijing a couple times about 10 years ago and spent a lot of time walking on back streets just soaking up the city. I had a hard time understanding the system because everyone seemed to have a different explanation, but it really came down to, if the government wants your land, they will take it and you may or may not get any money, and if you do get money, it won't be much. 
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Rover

OBS Chief
AU Supporter
Joined
May 13, 2015
Messages
631
Here's a YT video that has some examples of people in China holding onto their property in the face of highway and building construction.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

cpotisch

Conductor
Joined
Sep 2, 2017
Messages
7,511
Here's a YT video that has some examples of people in China holding onto their property in the face of highway and building construction.\
The obviously fake clickbait thumbnail already makes it hard for me to take any content in that vid seriously.
 
Top