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  (Source: Shutterstock)
U.S. is left in the dust as China blazes ahead with $1T USD rail bid

America may be witnessing its descent into the twilight in terms of being on the bleeding edge of transportation technology.  This week China, the world's most populous nation opened the world's longest stretch of high-speed rail.

Linking the capital city of Beijing in the north with the southern city of Guangzhou, the 2,298 kilometer (1,428 mile) line has already began ferrying passengers at 300 kilometers per hour (186 mph).  The line will cut the fastest travel time between the cities from around 20 hours to only 8 hours, making it a day trip.

150 pairs of trains (300 total) will run daily along the line, which passes through the provincial capitals cities Shijiazhuang, Wuhan and Changsha.  

The rail line was not achieved without setbacks.  The bullet train project's supervisor, the former railway minister, and the ministry’s chief engineer were both detained in a corruption probe after a bullet train crash killed 40 people in mid-2011 and after a section of track in central China collapsed under heavy March rains.  China had to rebuild some of the line and slow test runs after finding corrupt contractors had used subpar building materials to construct sections of the track.

China rail launch
Chinese dignataries gather to celebrate the launch of the world's longest stretch of high-speed track. [Image Source: The Washington Post]

China, however, is not looking to let off the gas. It will have four major east-west lines, and three more major north-south lines by 2020, linking virtually every major city in China.  While the U.S. and other economic rivals initially expressed skepticism of China's ambitious rail plans -- which are expected to cost around $1T USD -- China has already achieved roughly half of its 18,000 kilometer goal for 2015, with 9,300 km (5,800 miles) of active high-speed track.

The Asian giant is also testing next-generation trains, which it hopes will travel at around 310 miles per hour, once again cutting travel time roughly in half.

The U.S., whose massively socialist national highway project was once perhaps the world's most ambitious and well-engineered transportation conduits, has balked at the proposal of a high-tech replacement for its aging government-owned roadways.  And the private sector in the U.S. has expressed precious little interest in such a project, due to the price and low profit potential.

China bullet train
One of the new bullet train hurtles down the track. [Image Source: Shutterstock]

It's hard to say for sure just how big an economic boost high speed rail will provide China, but it's expected to bring radical new opportunities to the nation.  To relate in U.S. terms, high speed rail would make commutes from Detroit to Chicago, Pittsburgh and New York City feasible for those willing to spend up to a few hours of their lives a day in transit possible, opening new job opportunities.

The U.S. has some high speed rail plans of its own, but the billions put forth by the Obama administration have been dwarfed by China's commitment, as have the program's respective successes.  With the activation of the Guangzhou and Beijing bullet train conduit, one has to wonder whether we are witnessing the passing of the technological torch from the U.S. to China, and what the economic impact of that leadership transition will be.

Sources: The Washington Post, Shutterstock



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Image
By Moonwave on 12/27/2012 2:35:57 PM , Rating: 2
The second photo of this article is misleading. In the picture it is not a bullet train... it is a tube train. I have been in China several times and I know what they look like.




RE: Image
By ritualm on 12/27/2012 2:49:27 PM , Rating: 2
It's not even a tube train, it's a Transrapid(TM) Maglev.


RE: Image
By 91TTZ on 12/27/2012 3:27:04 PM , Rating: 1
The train in the second picture is actually much faster than the train in the first picture.

The sharply angled front of the new bullet train makes it look fast, but in reality that shape isn't needed for the relatively slow speeds that a train travels. The need for swept-back surfaces really only arises when you start getting close to the speed of sound.


RE: Image
By ritualm on 12/27/2012 7:38:25 PM , Rating: 3
You can go 180 mph in a long shipping container. Whether doing that will be comfortable, stable and safe is another question.

The angled front isn't there to look pretty, it is there to reduce aerodynamic drag at high speeds, and it is important if you want the train to stay in one piece while moving that fast over long distances.


RE: Image
By 91TTZ on 12/28/2012 11:29:30 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The angled front isn't there to look pretty, it is there to reduce aerodynamic drag at high speeds, and it is important if you want the train to stay in one piece while moving that fast over long distances.


You missed the point where I addressed that:

"The sharply angled front of the new bullet train makes it look fast, but in reality that shape isn't needed for the relatively slow speeds that a train travels. The need for swept-back surfaces really only arises when you start getting close to the speed of sound."

That long, angled front is mostly for looks. A more blunt, rounded shape like the other picture is more aerodynamically efficient at subsonic speeds. Those principles of aerodynamics were figured out over a hundred years ago.

Take a look at the shape of the front of a DC-3. Notice how blunt and rounded it is. It first flew in 1935 and has a max speed of 230 mph :

http://www.atpm.com/12.06/eea-airventure/images/Pr...

Here's the front of a 767-400ER. It's also blunt and rounded. It went into service in 2000 and has a max speed of about 560 mph:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/25695066@N00/63479253...

Now here is the front of the Concorde. It first flew in 1969 and has a max speed of Mach 2. The sharply angled shape is necessary because it cruises at supersonic speeds:

http://members.shaw.ca/johniuchi/Concorde_3.jpg

Here is a .45 ACP bullet from a .45 automatic pistol. The bullet travels at subsonic speeds for most of its flight, so a blunt, rounded shape is again the most efficient. This is from 1906.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:45_ACP_-_FMJ_-_S...

This is a .30-06 Springfield bullet from a rifle. The bullet travels at supersonic speeds for most of its flight so a sharply tip is again the most efficient shape. This bullet is also from 1906.

http://www.underwoodammo.com/images/products/detai...

I hope my pictures helped explain the fact that the sharply angled front of this train is not aerodynamically necessary and is mostly there to make it look fast. It evokes memories of supersonic jets, bullets, and missiles. However, at the speeds it travels (about 200 mpg) a blunt shape would be more efficient.


RE: Image
By yomamafor1 on 12/28/2012 4:12:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That long, angled front is mostly for looks. A more blunt, rounded shape like the other picture is more aerodynamically efficient at subsonic speeds. Those principles of aerodynamics were figured out over a hundred years ago.


Uh... no its not. It's there for functional purpose. The angled front divert the air upward, to 1. facilitate minimal air resistance, and 2. to transition from rounded nose to square sized cars in the most efficient way.

Let's see what the Japanese, who builds the best high speed trains, have come up with.

http://www.aidan.co.uk/md/JpKtNozomi5902.jpg
http://www.railwaygazette.com/typo3temp/pics/cb1da...


RE: Image
By 91TTZ on 12/29/2012 10:29:12 AM , Rating: 3
The reason why this particular Chinese bullet train looks like that particular Japanese bullet train is because they copied its design.

The FASTEST trains in the world need to have a more aerodynamic shape, and the most aerodynamically efficient shape for subsonic speeds is a more blunt, rounded nose. I know it doesn't look as exciting but it's actually more efficient.

Here is the world's fastest conventional trainset. Note its blunt, rounded nose:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siemens_Velaro

Here is the world's fastest operational train, the Chinese Shanghai Transrapid maglev. Also note its blunt, rounded nose:
http://home.wangjianshuo.com/archives/2003/08/09/s...

Here is the train that set the world's record for a train at over 350 mph, the French TGV. Note its blunt, rounded nose:
http://www.ibabuzz.com/transportation/2007/04/04/3...
http://dodevice.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/04/tgv...

I know it's a boring shape, but again, it's the most aerodynamically efficient shape at subsonic speeds.

What about cars? When Bugatti wanted to create the world's fastest road car they realized that a blunt, rounded shape was the most aerodynamically efficient for subsonic speeds, so they went with that:
http://gomotors.net/pics/Bugatti/bugatti-veyron-16...

However the Bloodhound SSC will be supersonic, so it's going to need a long, sharply tapered design:
http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/617017main_45s_...

What about missiles?

Some missiles cruise subsonically like the Tomahawk cruise missile. Again, a blunt, rounded shape is the most efficient:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/55...

What if you wanted to make a supersonic cruise missile like our old Regulus? Then you'd have the sharply pointed shape:
http://www.air-and-space.com/20061202%20Pt%20Mugu/...

This isn't me just trying to justify what I want, these are fundamental laws of aerodynamics. They are well understood and no longer being debated.


RE: Image
By PrinceGaz on 12/28/2012 4:44:51 PM , Rating: 2
The whole reason why trains are so efficient at transporting things is because they
a) have very little rolling-resistance due to using steel wheels on steel rails
b) the aerodynamic drag is minimal compared with other energy usage

Your 4,000 ton diesel-hauled freight train trundling along at 40 mph can have every single truck shaped like a brick and it will make no noticeable difference to efficiency. In fact that is probably more efficient at packing in the maximum number of containers.

Your 400 ton electric-powered 200 mph passenger service is an altogether different story. Energy is used to accelerate, and recovered (fed back into the overhead wires) whilst braking. The overall energy usage depends almost entirely on how much energy needs to be spent maintaining a high speed, and that is determined by how much rolling-resistance and aerodynamic drag it experiences.

The rolling-resistance is always far lower than aerodynamic-drag in high-speed trains, which is why every high-speed train for the last few decades has been streamlined. With speeds in the 150-200mph range this is more important than ever, and once you get to 200mph+ it becomes absolutely critical to performance.

A long pointy nose might not be viable on a plane for weight (weight == fuel usage on planes) and weight-distribution reasons, but a couple of extra tons on the front of a train costs nothing compared with the rest of the weight and can help it cut through the air that bit more efficiently.

Don't judge how trains should look by how planes do.


RE: Image
By 91TTZ on 12/29/2012 11:32:01 AM , Rating: 2
In my reply above to the other poster I gave more examples of the most aerodynamically efficient shapes. It doesn't matter if these shapes are used on a car, truck, train, plane, or missile. The point in all these examples is to move air around the body of the vehicle while creating the least drag possible.

quote:
Your 4,000 ton diesel-hauled freight train trundling along at 40 mph can have every single truck shaped like a brick and it will make no noticeable difference to efficiency. ... Your 400 ton electric-powered 200 mph passenger service is an altogether different story... The overall energy usage depends almost entirely on how much energy needs to be spent maintaining a high speed, and that is determined by how much rolling-resistance and aerodynamic drag it experiences.


In my train examples, I didn't point out a freight train and claim that that's an efficient shape. I used the FASTEST trains as examples where aerodynamics count. The simple fact remains that at subsonic speeds a blunt, rounded nose is more aerodynamically efficient than a sharply angled and tapered nose. This has been understood for a very long time.

For instance, take a look at an old streamliner steam engine from the 1930's. This train is the world record holder for steam locomotives. It has a very familiar shape, with the leading edge similar to the leading edge on most high speed trains:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Number_4468_Mall...

quote:
A long pointy nose might not be viable on a plane for weight (weight == fuel usage on planes) and weight-distribution reasons, but a couple of extra tons on the front of a train costs nothing compared with the rest of the weight and can help it cut through the air that bit more efficiently. Don't judge how trains should look by how planes do.


I think I did a good job pointing out when a long, tapered nose is aerodynamically efficient. It becomes the most aerodynamically efficient shape when the object is going at or faster than the speed of sound. For speeds much below that a blunt, a rounded shape is the most efficient.

You claim that airliners don't have long, pointy noses because it's too heavy. This is entirely false. They do it because having a long, pointy nose on a subsonic object is aerodynamically inefficient. Even subsonic bullets have the familiar blunt, rounded shape. They're meant to be heavy, so they're made out of lead. Yet they still choose the familiar blunt nose because it's the most efficient shape at those speeds.

There is a reason that you don't see subsonic airliners being shaped like the Concorde with a long, pointy shape- It's simply not efficient at subsonic speeds.

Why is it that supersonic aircraft suddenly are able to have pointy noses while subsonic aircraft do not?
Why is it that supersonic cars (see Bloodhound SSC) suddenly are able to have pointy noses while subsonic cars do not?
Why is it that supersonic missiles are able to have pointy noses while subsonic missiles are not? Does weight suddenly not matter to them? No, it's because at supersonic speeds a long, pointy nose becomes the most aerodynamically efficient shape. At subsonic speeds a rounded, blunt nose is the most aerodynamically efficient.

The information we're discussing is all over the place and I can't believe that people would even take the time to disagree with me when the information is all over the place. They could spend that time learning and afterwards they'd agree with me.


Correction
By bug77 on 12/27/2012 12:27:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
To relate in U.S. terms, high speed rail would make commutes from Detroit to Chicago, Pittsburgh and New York City feasible for those willing to spend up to a few hours of their lives a day in transit possible, opening new job opportunities.


Not quite. These railways are so expensive, that most people in China cannot afford to actually ride them. The cost for this one has not been disclosed at all, afaik.
It's still an impressive achievement (even if it falls under heavy rains) and one that will happen more often in China, while the western world will be left counting their pennies.




RE: Correction
By Florinator on 12/27/2012 1:50:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's still an impressive achievement (even if it falls under heavy rains) and one that will happen more often in China, while the western world will be left counting their pennies.


Exactly! It reminds me of the space race of the sixties. The government pumped enormous amounts of money into projects that, on the surface, were less useful than, say a new freeway or a train track or a new airport.

But still, the benefits we reaped from all that knowledge, as a nation, and for the economy as a whole, are huge!

How long until other countries will turn to China to build their own high-speed rails, instead of, say, Japan, Germany or France?


RE: Correction
By vxmqzz on 12/27/2012 1:58:42 PM , Rating: 1
It's actually not that expensive considering the distance,

second class is about $150,
first class is $230

premium first class is $270

business class is $450

the main problem is 3G signal is not stable

Also, because of the high-speed rail, lots of airlines discounted their ticket price to 1/5 of normal price.


RE: Correction
By bug77 on 12/27/2012 7:07:45 PM , Rating: 3
According to Wikipedia, the nominal GDP per capita in China is just under $5,500. That's less than 40 second class tickets (though I think people living in the cities should be earning above the average). I say this is still luxury transportation, not bringing high-speed trains to the masses.


RE: Correction
By vxmqzz on 12/28/2012 4:24:50 PM , Rating: 2
According to wiki, China's GDP per capita is $8000 to $10000 in 2011, depending on who is counting, and ranked around 95th in the world. However this doesn't change the fact that it's the number 2 economy in the world. Considering it's 1.5b population, there are plenty of people that can afford a trip of $150, and most people don't take these long trips everyday.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_...


RE: Correction
By bug77 on 12/28/2012 5:44:26 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure you can read it any way you like, which why I specifically said "nominal GDP". Because those ticket prices are as nominal as it gets.

And while you are sure there are plenty of people that can afford the cost, there are others who aren't: http://www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2011/02/hi...


>.<
By Motoman on 12/27/2012 2:21:23 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
China's Turns on World's Longest High Speed Rail Conduit


OK, I know people don't like grammar nazis - but is it too much to ask to have a grammatically-correct title?




Last mile?
By lightfoot on 12/27/12, Rating: -1
RE: Last mile?
By RufusM on 12/27/2012 12:59:43 PM , Rating: 3
The "last mile" problem is the same for air travel. Either way you still need transportation on the other side. The transportation cost per person per mile for both depends on the use cases.


RE: Last mile?
By Florinator on 12/27/2012 1:41:25 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
But how do you get to the train station in the first place? Then how do you get to your final destination at the far end?

This requires a fairly advanced public transit system that simply does not exist in most US cities. Given these complexities, I don't see anybody in the US choosing this mode of travel over air travel.


I wonder, how do Americans get to the home airport in the first place and then from the destination airport to the far end? Hmmm...


RE: Last mile?
By lightfoot on 12/27/2012 2:27:04 PM , Rating: 2
This isn't replacing Airports, it's replacing buses and roads.

Why on earth would anybody choose this over air travel?

It's not faster, it's not safer, it's not more convenient, but it might be cheaper. But the cost savings simply aren't significant enough to spend the extra time.


RE: Last mile?
By Florinator on 12/27/2012 2:39:00 PM , Rating: 2
But I think it can be faster, over shorter distances. Of course a train would never beat a plan on a coast-to-coast trip, but on shorter trips... I think a high-speed train could win. Going through an airport is a hassle and I'm sure eliminating short (say under 2 hours) flights, would be a huge benefit for streamlining air traffic and reduce aiport congestion...


RE: Last mile?
By nafhan on 12/27/2012 3:55:15 PM , Rating: 2
Commuter trains are actually pretty awesome, IF some or all of the following are true:
1) Traffic is bad in your area
2) You don't like driving or would rather do something else during your commute
3) You've got a fairly lengthy commute
4) Getting to and from the train is convenient
5) You don't own a vehicle dedicated to your commute

Another thing I've noticed with commuter trains is that average speed is limited largely by the number of stops rather than the top speed of the train. Even on a train that has a top speed of 70 MPH, I was spending about as much time in the stations as I was at 70 MPH.

As negative as that sounds, I think commuter trains can be a great idea to relieve congestion in areas where it's just not practical to continue expanding the highways.


RE: Last mile?
By aliasfox on 12/28/2012 10:47:33 AM , Rating: 4
Why can't it replace airports?

Consider NYC > DC, or NYC > Boston, or even NYC > Chicago (south, north, and east, respectively).

For most people in residential or business NYC, getting to LaGuardia is an hour of subway and bussing. JFK is about an hour and a half, at least from Manhattan. Dulles, O'Hare, and Logan are roughly the same distance away from their respective cities as well (let's call it an hour). Midway and Reagan are closer into the cities, but that'll save maybe half an hour, at most.

So for both ends (travel to airport, check in, security, and disembarkation), we should build in ~3 hours, maybe two and a half if you're really good. Add in a 1hr (DC), 2hr (Boston), or 2.5hr (Chicago) flight time, and you're looking at total travel times of between 3.5 - 5.5hrs.

High speed rail on the same order as what France, Japan, and China have done would mean:
- NYC > DC in 1.5 hrs
- NYC > Boston in 2.5 hrs
- NYC > Chicago in 5-6 hrs

Train stations in each of these respective cities are all at the edge of business districts, and within 15 minutes of much of the residential communities, so even factoring in an extra hour of ground commute time, each of these commutes would still be highly competitive with air travel. Not to mention 'the last mile' within a city center (where there is lots of public transit or fairly inexpensive cabs) is significantly easier to deal with than 'the last mile' from an airport that's 20-50 miles away.

Lastly, why haven't people considered bringing cars onto trains? It's done on the Eurostar, why couldn't it be done on high speed rail in the US? If you could drive your car onto the train in DC then drive it off in Orlando, that would be a very appealing alternative to renting a car.


RE: Last mile?
By theapparition on 12/28/2012 11:47:39 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Lastly, why haven't people considered bringing cars onto trains?

They have, it's called Auto train. Amtrak has a few lines, like VA to Florida.

It's not high speed and the cost and time is more prohibitive over other methods, but works out well for some situations.


RE: Last mile?
By vxmqzz on 12/28/2012 4:32:27 PM , Rating: 2
if there is a high speed train between NYC and Chicago udder 5 hours, that would be great.


RE: Last mile?
By someguy123 on 12/29/2012 2:06:49 AM , Rating: 2
Considering the time it takes to just check in to the airport and sitting around waiting after entering too early, then waddling your way out, I'd say its a bit more convenient. They have multiple stops as well so I'd assume it'd make more sense to just take the train about 1/3rd of the way rather than flying for a few hundred miles.

Depending on territory their public transportation can be quite good, similar to the trains in NY or the bus system in california (well, comparatively good).


RE: Last mile?
By Paj on 1/2/2013 11:34:52 AM , Rating: 2
Ive caught the Eurostar between London and Europe several times. Its much more convenient, as security is far less onerous. Also, train stations are typically located in the middle of cities, making it much easier to get to your destination by car or public transport once you get there.

All in all, it ends up being a fair bit quicker, door to door, to get a train from London to Paris than a flight. The trains are much more comfortable than a flight too.


ROI?
By RufusM on 12/27/12, Rating: -1
RE: ROI?
By TSS on 12/27/2012 12:44:13 PM , Rating: 4
Maybe not in the sense that the train itself makes money, but it definitly brings benifits. Business men in China would now be able to travel from one side of China to the other, do business, and be back in the same day. When you can reach a greater public to make deals, you've got more opperunity to expand.

Then when you actually expand into another part of china you just hire people locally. Those people still have no need for a high speed rail - but they now do have jobs they wouldn't have had without it. That, in turn, brings in more tax revenue which can be helped in part or maybe even in full to pay for the trains. That's why it's hard to judge it's economic impact, especially in a still developing nation as China.

As a mass transit system, no high speed rail makes sense. Rail hardly makes sense, depends way too much on population density. Trams or Monorails would be a far more efficient mass transit for within a city (using bicyles for even shorter distances), then use massive airplanes for longer distances between population centers and cars for the rest.

But as a transit for the middle and upper class, it beats airplane flights in comfort.


RE: ROI?
By dsx724 on 12/27/2012 12:46:27 PM , Rating: 2
Except the flight is 3 hours and the "fast" train ride is 8. I'd take the flight in first class please.


RE: ROI?
By dsx724 on 12/27/2012 12:48:31 PM , Rating: 2
Did I mention the flight ticket is only $120?


RE: ROI?
By RufusM on 12/27/2012 1:25:14 PM , Rating: 3
I suspect using a train versus plane has to do with the sheer numbers of people they are moving.

China has different needs than the US for transportation. I assume these trains will mainly be moving more rural people to the cities to work for a week/month/whatever then back home again for a break.


RE: ROI?
By Jeremy87 on 12/27/2012 1:42:50 PM , Rating: 2
3 hours plus 1 hour to get to/from the airport, 1 hour waiting for liftoff preparations etc.
Trains may still take more time for extreme distances, but they are more convenient, and later in the article they are looking to double the train speed once more.


RE: ROI?
By danjw1 on 12/27/2012 6:03:53 PM , Rating: 5
3 hour flight? I guess you aren't flying in the western world. Haven't you heard of TSA? While they have started smaller footprints for train and bus travel, it isn't anything like Airplane security. 3 hour flight and having to be at the airport 2 hours early to be sure you can actually get to and on the plane in time, makes it a 5 hour flight. And First Class? Sure if you are a CEO at a major corporation, but most travel business class at best. After all, employee comfort has to be second to those quarterly reports.


RE: ROI?
By yomamafor1 on 12/28/2012 4:04:58 PM , Rating: 2
You forgot the 1.5 hour to get through the security line, 1 hour to disembark and get your luggage, 1 hour to argue with the customer service for lost luggage, and 6 hours of having nothing to wear.

Oh, that is assuming your flight isn't delayed for 1~2 hours or cancelled outright, forcing you to sleep in the airport.

I think high speed trains are like SSDs. You just don't know what you're missing out on until you've actually experienced it.


RE: ROI?
By nafhan on 12/27/2012 3:12:00 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
But as a transit for the middle and upper class, it beats airplane flights in comfort.
...and for only a trillion dollars, too!

Where rail really shines from an economic perspective is for transporting freight, and for that, speed is usually less important than cost.

I also think that before long self driving cars will cancel out a lot of the other benefits of passenger rail travel (primarily being able to do things other than drive during your commute).


RE: ROI?
By PrinceGaz on 12/28/2012 4:19:39 PM , Rating: 2
Self driving cars? For high speed journeys of hundreds of miles? That seems like a crazy answer.

Rail is unbeatable for transporting large loads of freight over land as happens in the US.

Rail is also extremely good at transporting large numbers of passengers very quickly over distances of hundreds of miles as happens across much of western Europe, as well as China now. Japan realised that decades ago.

For long distances air travel will always be quicker than rail (though by an ever reducing amount unless a replacement for Concorde is developed), but rail is always going to be a lot cheaper to run than the equivalent plane journey, which makes a long distance rail journey (perhaps overnight asleep) a better option than several hours on a cramped plane.


RE: ROI?
By StanO360 on 12/27/2012 1:20:44 PM , Rating: 2
Don't know about the last couple of years. But there were only three lines that actually paid for themselves (and I'm sure this does NOT include opportunity cost, infrastructure, capital costs) one in Japan, one in France, and DC-NY Amtrack.


RE: ROI?
By Lord 666 on 12/27/2012 11:47:12 PM , Rating: 2
And parts of that NY-DC stretch are STILL damaged due to Sandy which really slows down commutes along with killing reliability.


RE: ROI?
By Uncle on 12/27/2012 1:24:20 PM , Rating: 2
Always an American apologist with excuses, for not being No1. Your interstate highways weren't built by Capitalist, good thing for that otherwise you would be traveling on dirt roads. Some time the state has to intercede for the benefit of the many instead of the few.


RE: ROI?
By integr8d on 12/27/12, Rating: 0
RE: ROI?
By Uncle on 12/27/2012 1:51:33 PM , Rating: 2
Capitalists don't pay taxes or next to nothing. Its the everyday Joe Sixpack that pays the taxes that get shoveled into the pockets of the Corporate welfare bums, Wall St. Banks, Exxon, GE, apple, Google, Im sure you could name a few yourself.


RE: ROI?
By Uncle on 12/27/12, Rating: -1
RE: ROI?
By Shig on 12/27/2012 2:07:13 PM , Rating: 2
Read a little before you ask about fantasy ROI numbers.

http://www.america2050.org/pdf/Where-HSR-Works-Bes...


RE: ROI?
By Motoman on 12/27/12, Rating: 0
RE: ROI?
By nafhan on 12/27/2012 3:36:44 PM , Rating: 2
Also:
capitalism = Chinese economic system


RE: ROI?
By Cheeseavatar on 12/27/2012 5:13:58 PM , Rating: 3
I think you all need to redeine what socialism mean.

The definition of the word is "a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole."
This was gotten from dictionary.com

If you think that America is capitalist. I am afrid to tell you that that is quite unture.

You have nationalized your banks (like AIG) your car companies (GM & Crystler) etc. That is the simple term of nationalization which is "Socialism"

Also America has many socialist policies that for some reason you dont want to believe is socialist.
Public Schools
The police
Firefighters
Libraries
etc.
These are all socilist

Also, capitialist do not spend their own money on road. Goverment spends tax money on roads. Thats the goverments money, not the corporations.

I think before you comment on what certian political theories are you should understand what it means.

Also nafhan, you are right the chinese econmic system is capitalist... they where never communist.

Acutally communism never exisit on a large scale (even when the USSR was kicking around) the best any country got to was "State Capitalism"


RE: ROI?
By Cheeseavatar on 12/27/2012 5:14:40 PM , Rating: 2
sorry bout any spelling mistakes...

I didnt proof read...


RE: ROI?
By nafhan on 12/27/2012 3:34:45 PM , Rating: 2
The ROI on high speed rail was being discussed. The person you're responding to didn't say anything negative about China. Rather, he said the same system wouldn't be as good of a fit in the US. Similar things get said any time high speed rail comes up.

Anyway, your other stuff. Interesting fact about the Interstate Highway system: a major reason it was funded and built was for use by the military. American generals (specifically Eisenhower) saw how well the German highway system worked for transporting troops, etc., the American government emulated and improved on that. From the perspective of goals the highway system was set out to accomplish (improve interstate commerce and military mobility), it's arguably been a good investment.

Also, from a purely economic perspective China is definitely a capitalist country. So... technically the high speed rail in China is being built by "capitalists". Relevant Wikipedia quote:
quote:
Modern-day China is mainly characterized as having a market economy based on private property ownership, and is one of the leading examples of state capitalism.


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