China’s bullet train vision

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A look at China's proposed plan to build a High Speed Rail Network by 2020 which would be the most advanced and comprehensive in the world.

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China’s bullet train vision

  1. 1. China’s Bullet Train Visionand other High Speed Rail Projects<br />www.mrmcgowan.blogspot.com<br />
  2. 2. China is currently the world’s second largest economy and is among the fastest growing.<br />It may well eclipse the rags to riches Asian stories of Japan and “The Miracle on the Han River” of South Korea.<br />The 21st Century looks set to be dominated by the Pacific and not the Atlantic as the 20th Century was.<br />China is emerging and catching up with the West at an incredible, accelerated rate, since opening up in the 1970s.<br />
  3. 3. One statement of intent of her arrival as a potential world superpower is the creation of an internal high speed rail network which is akin to the great American conquest of The West by steam engine, the Iron Horse.<br />America gained its power through connecting the new states and by reducing travel time, not only for passengers but importantly for freight and cargo, before embarking on an even more advanced form of travel with the advent of aeroplanes.<br />
  4. 4. With the Volcanic Ash crisis in Europe affecting the world, it is important to consider the alternatives to air travel.<br />High speed rail links could be the answer. But who would have thought it would be China who would be leading the Industrialised world in Mass Transit? This was surely the preserve of Japan, the USA or even France?<br />
  5. 5. How can China do it?<br />China can do it through it’s incredible resources.<br />Labour is not hard to find and is relatively cheap.<br />Massive Chinese exports to the West will pay for the highly ambitious and costly scheme.<br />But here’s the rub. It is an investment, which may prove costly just now, but may pay dividends over the next 50-100 years.<br />
  6. 6. China is a<br />vast country<br />and also<br />has the<br />world’s<br />largest<br />Population of<br />around 1.3<br />billion people<br />
  7. 7. There is an argument to use High Speed Rail travel for journeys that take 4 hours.<br />Longer distances are better to travel by air, and much shorter ones are naturally better served by car.<br />But for journeys of around 4 hours, by the time you check in and clear customs in airports, it is far more convenient and efficient to let the train take the strain.<br />
  8. 8. China’s existing bullet train. Travels at 394 km/h. The world’s fastest (May 2010).<br />
  9. 9. Maglev<br />China also uses Maglev (Magnetic Levitation) trains. The current record holder is the train from Shanghai to the airport, which takes 7 minutes to travel 30 miles at a speed of 268 mph or 431 km/h.<br />
  10. 10. China’s 2020 vision<br />By 2020 China aim to have laid 16,000 miles of High Speed Railtrack at a cost of nearly $300 billion<br />The trains will hit a cruising speed of 220 mph<br />The 10 hour rail journey from Beijing to Shanghai will be reduced to 4.5 hours.<br />
  11. 11.
  12. 12. Study Points<br />What advantages and disadvantages would High Speed Rail bring to the following groups:<br />Chinese construction worker<br />Tourist in China<br />Low budget Chinese airline operator<br />Chinese shopkeepers in major city centres<br />Chinese Government official<br />Rural communities and villages in China<br />
  13. 13. Potential Benefits<br />Reduces national unemployment<br />Better infrastructure (linked to development of roads and ports)<br />Offers alternative to air travel<br />Increased tourism<br />Ease congestion and gridlock<br />Potential to link with other parts of Asia<br />Helps sustain economic growth<br />
  14. 14. Drawbacks<br />Environmental issues in construction of rail<br />Health and Safety of workers?<br />What happens to workforce when network complete?<br />Pollution<br />Maintenance and safety costs<br />Could threaten local airlines<br />
  15. 15. TGV<br />France has 1,700km of high speed lines.<br />The new generation of TGVs are being planned to hit a top speed of 360 km/h <br />
  16. 16. TGV Network<br />
  17. 17. Eurostar<br />This high speed train links London with Paris and Brussels. The trains travel through the Channel Tunnel.<br />Eurostars top speed is 186 mph or 300 km.h<br />
  18. 18. Shinkansen<br />
  19. 19. Shinkansen: Japan Bullet Train<br />The Shinkansen began in 1964. The planned top speed for the next generation of trains is 199 mph.<br />Japan is in an earthquake zone, and since 1992 all Shinkansen are equipped with an automatic breaking feature to stop the trains in event of an earthquake.<br />The Tokyo Shinkansen carries around 150 million passengers per year.<br />
  20. 20. Shinkansen Lines<br />
  21. 21. Pendolino: Glasgow to London<br />Operated by Richard Branson’s Virgin Rail, the Pendolino has cut travel time between Glasgow and London to under 4 hours.<br />It’s maximum speed is 125 mph, but this is a restriction placed upon it due to track signalling systems.<br />
  22. 22. Britain’s Plans for High Speed Rail<br />The current proposed paln will cost is 30bn GBP and will take some 20 years to complete.<br />
  23. 23. GARL<br />Not everyone is seems is so far-sighted as China.<br />In Glasgow, the much anticipated Glasgow Airport Rail Link (which would connect the Airport to Central Station) has been scrapped by the Scottish Government!<br />Mind you the M74 completion project is nearing its end... Some 30 years after its inception!<br />
  24. 24. KLIA Express<br />
  25. 25. KLIA Express<br />Another example of good infrastructure is between KLIA and Kuala Lumpur City Centre at Sentral Station.<br />The International Airport is served by the KLIA Express train which takes only 28 minutes to travel the 57 km to the City.<br />Current price of a ticket (one way)is 35 RM (Ringgit) which is around 7 GBP or 11 USD.<br />
  26. 26. USA’s Plans for High Speed Rail<br />
  27. 27. Existing High Speed Rail in Europe<br />
  28. 28. High Speed Rail plans for East Asia<br />
  29. 29. What are the implications for the future?<br />London to Beijing in 2 days... By train?<br />http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2010-03/china-plans-beijing-london-high-speed-rail-link<br />
  30. 30. Further Reading<br />www.worldfocus.org<br />www.seekingalpha.com<br />www.fortune.com<br />www.forbes.com<br />

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