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China's Shanghai and Hangzhou rail line is the world's highest average speed rail line.  (Source: Reuters)
China continues to advance its high-speed rail program

When 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 a speed 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, like 1,000 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.



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RE: This says it all....
By Murloc on 9/30/2010 11:49:53 AM , Rating: 4
that's fine, but lands have always been expropriated from privates to build roads etc. even in democratic countries. They get refunded for their market value of course.


RE: This says it all....
By tng on 9/30/2010 12:15:58 PM , Rating: 2
That has always been the case here until 3 years ago. Our wonderful Supreme Court ruled for a city somewhere (I think in New Hampshire, Delaware?)that razing peoples homes to put up high density housing that brought in more local taxes was a just use of Eminent Domain.


RE: This says it all....
By surt on 9/30/2010 7:32:24 PM , Rating: 3
You understand that eminent domain still involves paying off the property owner, it just means they don't get to choose whether or not to sell.


RE: This says it all....
By SPOOFE on 9/30/2010 10:58:26 PM , Rating: 2
And I'm sure YOU understand that one of the bigger criticisms of applications of eminent domain have involved those payoffs for being much, much too low to be considered anywhere close to "fair".

If you were looking at being screwed over, you'd be a NIMBY-type, too.


RE: This says it all....
By FITCamaro on 9/30/2010 12:17:20 PM , Rating: 1
No one is saying eminent domain doesn't have a place. If a road no longer can handle the volume of traffic it has to bear and there is no other place to put a road, eminent domain being used to widen the road is appropriate.

What is not appropriate is what is going on in certain cities where city governments are seizing land to give it to private developers which then build condos or apartments on it. This results in more tax revenue for the city which is how they claim eminent domain is justified. That it is for the greater good.

That kind of totalitarian use is unacceptable. But the federal government is using it too. It is claiming huge swaths of states where the state might want to develop for use of the lands resources (most notably the tar sands for oil shale) so that these states cannot do so. Why? Because it doesn't meet their environmental agenda. 88% of Nevada is owned by the federal government.

Here's a map that shows federal ownership of state lands as a percentage of land area.

http://strangemaps.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/map...


RE: This says it all....
By AssBall on 9/30/2010 2:16:12 PM , Rating: 2
Our Wyoming numbers look big on that map, Fit, but most of that is because of national parks, national grasslands, and national forests, most of which are absolutely free for the public to use. Even the feds have trouble cutting through their own tape to "develop" those areas.


RE: This says it all....
By Reclaimer77 on 9/30/10, Rating: -1
RE: This says it all....
By AssBall on 9/30/2010 4:35:56 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, go figure.

Write a well written neutral post with good information and discussion, get rated down.

Write an off the subject incoherent mean spirited rant, get rated up.

It's the DT way I guess...


RE: This says it all....
By FITCamaro on 10/1/10, Rating: -1
RE: This says it all....
By Skywalker123 on 10/4/2010 1:31:12 PM , Rating: 2
Yeh, we don't need no stinkin' national parks. Lets sell 'em all and let them pave them over and put up strip malls and condo's. And all them trees are standing around doing nothing, we should cut them down and sell the lumber to China.


RE: This says it all....
By Reclaimer77 on 9/30/10, Rating: -1
"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook














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