it comes to high speed rail transportation, the U.S. is getting left
behind. Europe and Japan have long championed high speed rail, and
China is currently working to install 16,000 miles of high speed
rail track -- or roughly 1/3 of the length of the U.S.'s total
interstate highway system -- and spending $1T USD on the
project. By comparison, U.S. President Barack Obama has
committed a mere $13B USD in high
speed rail investment. And where the U.S. deployment has
struggled with landowner and property concerns, the more efficient
Chinese system has simply relocated land owners (despite their
protests) and started construction.A few months back set
record (average speed, not top speed) of 236 mph (380 km/h)
for its Shanghai to Beijing line. This week it bumped that
speed up even higher recording a speed of
258.9 mph (416.6 km/h) for its new train line between
Shanghai and Hangzhou.The previous train took approximately
80 minutes to cover the 125.5 mi (202 km) between the cities.
The new line will typically travel at around 217.5 mph (350 km/h),
cutting that time to around 40 minutes. China currently
has 4,300 miles of railroad track -- the most of any nation in the
world. While its trains aren't quite as fast at top speed
compared to foreign models -- Japan's JR-Maglev train (unrailed),
which achieved a speed of 581 km/h (361 mph) and France's TGV at
574.8 km/h (357.18 mph) (railed) -- in average speed it is
unbeaten.So why does the world care if China is beating it in
high-speed transportation? Well China's train system is not
only high-speed, it is also high volume as well. And at the end
of the day it's offering its citizens days in extra productivity
every year, which will likely have tremendous and unheralded benefits
on the economy. For example, the average citizen commuting on
the new record-setting line will save approximately an hour and 20
minutes a day.Of course the costs are tremendous and China
has much work to go before it can reach its hyper-ambitious goals,
km/h super-trains, it's clearly setting a blistering pace with
technological advancements.China's train lines are almost
entirely managed by state-owned enterprises, though many are publicly
traded on stock markets in Hong Kong and China.
quote: Can I be Devils Advocate for a minute?
quote: But from a societal perspective, it is a colossal waste of resources (human and natural).
quote: Americans collectively spend too much time travelling.
quote: No one wants to be the guy who has to pick up and move, but that's how it works in China.
quote: "Business travel" doesn't exist for factory workers.
quote: For example, if you work for a West Coast company and live in the East Coast, it would probably be more efficient to live on the West Coast.
quote: I fly allot, every month. About 70% of the year I am away from home. To be perfectly honest with you, even if there was 400+mph trains that linked all of the large urban centers in the US, for me flying is still more efficient.