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China's new 500 km/h high-speed train   (Source: China Daily)
It launched over the weekend and was created to resemble an ancient Chinese sword

Despite experiencing a number of issues earlier this year, China launched a new super-rapid test train this past weekend.

The new high-speed train can travel as fast as 500 km/h (about 310 mph), and was made by a subsidiary China's largest train provider CSR Corp Ltd. It launched over the weekend and was created to resemble an ancient Chinese sword.

"[It] will provide useful reference for current high-speed railway operations," said Shen Zhiyun, a train expert.

The train consists of six cars, and has a maximum tractive power of 22,800 kilowatts. According to Ding Sansan, CSR's chief technician, the train's bodywork consists of plastic materials "reinforced with carbon fiber."

China's $1T USD high-speed rail bid hopes to build 13,000 km (8,078 miles) of high-speed rail network by 2012, and about 20,000 km (12,427 miles) by 2020.

This new launch comes after a series of high-speed train-related troubles throughout 2011. In February, Liu Zhijun, former Railways Ministry chief, was accused of pocketing $122 million USD and terminated from his position from corruption charges. In July, a collision between two high-speed trains in Wenzhou killed at least 40 people and injured another 210.

Other issues with China's high-speed trains included the use of low-quality materials to build the tracks, which led to trains nearly derailing and the country having to drop the top speed of trains from 218 mph to 186 mph, and costly ticket prices for the use of high-speed trains. These problems led to slowed construction of the rail system, which worried some that the project could eventually lead to bank failures.

"In China, we will have a debt crisis -- a high-speed rail debt crisis," said Zhao Jian, a professor at Beijing Jiaotong University, earlier this year. "I think it is more serious than your subprime mortgage crisis. You can always leave a house or use it. The rail system is there. It's a burden. You must operate the rail system, and when you operate it, the cost is very high."

Source: Reuters



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RE: Where's the USA at
By TSS on 12/26/2011 6:24:20 PM , Rating: 2
http://www.economist.com/node/18620944

quote:
America’s fastest and most reliable line, the north-eastern corridor’s Acela, averages a sluggish 70 miles per hour between Washington and Boston. The French TGV from Paris to Lyon, by contrast, runs at an average speed of 140mph.


The entire article is an interesting read. It's comparable to what a dutch news program put out a few weeks ago about the bad state of american infrastructure.

The reason it's so bad is because you guys don't pay enough taxes. Yes i know, cut spending and all. But even with cutting spending, you still need more taxes. Because you already spent too much while paying too little taxes.

Any whining about "well then i have less money to spend" i'll counter with "well maybe you shouldn't spend all your money to begin with". When the infrastructure fails alltogether you'll have alot less money to spend on alot less stuff anyway.


RE: Where's the USA at
By spread on 12/27/2011 1:38:23 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
The reason it's so bad is because you guys don't pay enough taxes. Yes i know, cut spending and all. But even with cutting spending, you still need more taxes. Because you already spent too much while paying too little taxes.


The problem is most of the taxes go to feed the perpetual war machine. NASA? Need money for war. Transportation? Need money for war. Healthcare? Screw the American People, need money for war.


RE: Where's the USA at
By YashBudini on 12/28/2011 7:58:21 PM , Rating: 2
One of the dangers of automation and war is fewer troops will be killed, making war less distasteful to the general public. If you're told and accept that the government must spend 1/4 or more of its total budget on perpetual war in order to be safe and you see no death around you then you are more likely to accept the claim, even without proof.

This is not a scenario conducive to productivity or high quality of life. It is highly profitable to those who manufacture nothing other than war related equipment. Eisenhower warned us, but who's listening?


RE: Where's the USA at
By Chernobyl68 on 12/27/2011 3:54:55 PM , Rating: 2
When speaking of the NE corridor, the reason its so bad, is that it was laid out when the average speed of a locomotive was maybe 40 mph. Well, maybe not 40, but certainly slower and steam driven. 200mph running would have been unthinkable of back then.
I agree with you on the taxes though, the federal gas tax is 18 years stagnant, and our roads and bridges are falling apart because of it.


RE: Where's the USA at
By YashBudini on 12/28/2011 8:21:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The French TGV from Paris to Lyon, by contrast, runs at an average speed of 140mph.

Is it possible that Americans are simply more used to a hectic life? That the French place more importance on the time spent sitting outside a coffee shop with a coffee and cigarette, so getting there quickly is more important?


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