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Old April 22nd, 2011, 06:04 AM   #2061
yaohua2000
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Luxury seats are not first class seats. First class seats is only 60% more expensive than second class. Luxury class is 200% more expensive. My earlier trip from Hangzhou and Shanghai was in a luxury class. It was a six-person private cabin with door.

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Old April 22nd, 2011, 08:59 AM   #2062
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero Gravity View Post
@chornedsnorkack, I think you're kinda missing the point.
".... saying that luxury seats are being removed from most of the bullet trains...."

At no point do they say they will completely get rid of all first class cars.
Yes, but my point is that having luxury seats on a few trains but not most is likely to be a waste. People who want luxury seats but do not find them on the train which fits their schedule are likely to give up rather than wait for a train that does have. My proposal is that it might be better to have fewer luxury seats on each train.
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 10:56 AM   #2063
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Originally Posted by yaohua2000 View Post
Luxury class is 200% more expensive. My earlier trip from Hangzhou and Shanghai was in a luxury class. It was a six-person private cabin with door.

http://www.yaohua2000.org/2010/20101222/en-13.html

Looks kind of tacky, not worth the money at all.
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 02:02 PM   #2064
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It is a very strange arrangement that of "luxury seats". It is not a really private compartment where you can conduct business alone: those walls do not reach the top. Then you have this strange 3-seat alignment and plenty of unused space. They are of bad design IMO.
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 03:42 PM   #2065
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It is not a really private compartment where you can conduct business alone: those walls do not reach the top.
Which makes it all the more easier to tear them down and add seating and thereby increase seat revenue space.

*btw, I see they really do sell Suntory Black Oolong tea in China. And I thought it was just in the tv commercials here in Japan!

Last edited by k.k.jetcar; April 22nd, 2011 at 03:52 PM.
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 05:22 PM   #2066
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Any idea which station this is?
This is Tianjin North Railway Station on old railway, which have eight tracks (exclude the high-speed rail, which is elevated high above, not part of the station at all), five tracks are served by three platforms.
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Old April 22nd, 2011, 10:04 PM   #2067
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Originally Posted by yaohua2000 View Post
This is Tianjin North Railway Station on old railway, which have eight tracks (exclude the high-speed rail, which is elevated high above, not part of the station at all), five tracks are served by three platforms.
Cool. Thank you!
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Old April 23rd, 2011, 12:29 AM   #2068
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Originally Posted by k.k.jetcar View Post
Which makes it all the more easier to tear them down and add seating and thereby increase seat revenue space.

*btw, I see they really do sell Suntory Black Oolong tea in China. And I thought it was just in the tv commercials here in Japan!
Correct, the compartments are nothing more than a removable wall attached to the floor at (I assume) standard tie down points. Note half of the car still has the standard first class seats. It's more like an after market option rather a dedicated designed luxury seat car.
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Old April 25th, 2011, 10:51 PM   #2069
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An interesting read, the article posted a couple of months before the Liu scandal.

Quote:
The Backlash Is Brewing Against Chinese High-Speed Rail: Here's Why It's In Trouble
Patrick Chovanec, An American Perspective From China | Jan. 14, 2011, 9:47 AM |

I want to elaborate, just a bit, on the point I made in my latest China Economic Review column about China’s high-speed rail investment, since it had to be cut short there due to space restrictions.

Currently, China’s conventional rail system is stretched to capacity carrying two commodities: coal and people. And as Damien Ma, an analyst at the Eurasia Group, notes in a post today at The Atlantic, passengers takes politically priority over coal, requiring much of the nation’s coal to be transported by truck, leading to monumental traffic jams on China’s roads (including the famous 10-day, 62-mile backup outside of Beijing last August, which attracted worldwide attention and mainly consisted of coal trucks).

The theory is that building a national high-speed rail network will put all that passenger traffic on “the fast track,” as it were, and open up capacity on the existing rail network to move not only more coal but also other types of goods, thus relieving the road backups and boosting both productivity and regional development.

The problem is that high-speed rail is expensive both to build and to operate, requiring high ticket prices to break even. The bulk of the long-distance passenger traffic, especially during the peak holiday periods, is migrant workers for whom the opportunity cost of time is relatively low. Even if they could afford a high-speed train ticket — which is doubtful given their limited incomes — they would probably prefer to conserve their cash and take a slower, cheaper train. If that proves true, the new high-speed lines will only incur losses while providing little or no relief to the existing transportation network.

Unfortunately, that seems to be precisely the situation that’s shaping up this Chinese New Year (the year’s peak travel season), according to an article in this Wednesday’s China Daily. The article reports that

Some 5,149km of high-speed track were put into service last year, making the network stretch to 8,358km, the world’s longest … But the opening of more fast train services has led to fewer regular trains being available for budget-conscious passengers.

China Daily notes that a new luxury sleeper service between Shanghai and Chengdu costs an astonishing US$352 (easily comparable — and possibly more expensive than — an air ticket).

But many travelers cannot afford the tickets, causing a waste of transport capacity.

Instead of buying expensive high-speed rail tickets, migrants are instead opting to take the bus:

[An official spokesman for the Ministry of Transportation] said this year the situation had pushed many passengers, who used to ride home by slow trains because of the cheap tickets, onto long-distance buses. This extra traffic will add pressure to the road transport system during the travel peak season, [he] said.

Long-distance bus traffic over Chinese New Year, the article notes, is expected to increase nearly 12% from the same period last year, requiring 70,000 more buses on the roads.

Rather than capturing lower-end traffic from slower trains and buses, it appears the new high-speed lines are drawing higher-end traffic away from China’s airlines:

Wang Changshun, deputy head of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, told a conference on Tuesday that the fast trains have forced some airlines to cancel short-distance flights along high-speed rail lines.

For example, the Wuhan-Guangzhou high-speed railway, where every few minutes trains zip between the two cities via Changsha … has carried 20.6 million passengers since its opening in December 2009. During that period the number of flights between Changsha and Guangzhou has been cut from an average of 11.5 flights a day to three flights a day, he said. Hainan and Shenzhen airlines decided to withdraw from the market, leaving only China Southern Airlines carrying the three daily flights … The ticket price for those flights also dropped by 15 percent … but still the number of passengers … dropped by 48 percent.

“The opening of the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed line next year will be another blow to the air transport industry,” Wang said.

It may be that China’s airlines could use a bit of competition, but that certainly wasn’t the intent behind the high-speed rail build-out. The intent was to relieve the congestion of China’s existing rail system, thereby opening up lower-end capacity to handle more freight, and relieving stress on roads. It was supposed to bump passengers up-market (from slow trains to fast trains) not down-market (from slow trains to buses, from planes to fast trains).

The argument I make — in abbreviated form — in my CER article is that rather than trying to divert passenger traffic to high-speed rail, China should focus on the (far less glamorous) task of improving and expanding its intermodal freight system — using the U.S., in part at least, as a model. That involves not just laying more conventional track, but also building the support infrastructure to make more efficient use of that track, especially in China’s underpenetrated interior. As I point out in my article:

Inland Chinese cities like Chengdu or Lanzhou are really no more remote from global markets than Chicago or Denver; the difference is a robust and efficient logistics network. With container terminals, rail yards, and modern storage facilities in place, more industries would find it plausible to locate in China’s interior, alleviating the need for workers to travel so far from home to find a job.

The next line I wrote cuts to the core difference between the two approaches:

Rather than moving people more quickly, [China] should build a rail system that moves goods and makes people more productive where they already are.

To be fair, China is making some effort in this direction, but it has taken a back seat to the glitzy all-out push for high-speed rail.

[Some readers might wonder what knowledge or experience I have that would enable me to offer an informed opinion on this subject, and that's a fair question. It just happens that, for nine years, I served as a transportation and logistics officer in the U.S. Army Reserves. I received training in the design and operation of road, rail, water, and air transportation systems, served with a terminal operations unit, and was in charge of running both ports and railheads. I also worked a couple of years, early in my career, coordinating intermodal freight movements for an ocean shipping line, from port to customer and back again. By no means do I hold myself out as an expert on transportation, but I am familiar enough with the issues to see some real problems emerging here.]

source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chinas-high-speed-rail-dilemma-2011-1
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Old April 25th, 2011, 11:47 PM   #2070
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the comments beneath are much better than the article, the article itself is at best 'amateurish' and 'inaccurate'.

the thing is, you gotta have some knowledge of Chinese railways before properly comment on the issues. there are more factual errors than useful thoughts in this article.
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Old April 26th, 2011, 01:58 AM   #2071
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Every few years there will be a boom and bust of one industry, first came the highway build up in the mid 1990s, then the airport expansion in the late 1990s to the early 2000s, then the subway construction rush in the mid 2000s, and now HSR. I sure hope the final product will be a more balanced development approach. So far those busts have not hurt any one of the aforementioned industries, China is still building more highway, airport, subway, and HSR than anybody else in the world.
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Old April 26th, 2011, 04:42 PM   #2072
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He(the author) points out the problems caused to the airlines by the CRH and the need for better passenger distribution. These exactly manage the current MoR with the speed reduction decision, protection of the airlines and different passenger distribution.

Of course, i disagree with the measures taken but at least looks like, the ruckus about safety concerns and excess energy consumption was just a smoke screen.
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Old April 26th, 2011, 09:49 PM   #2073
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmmwv View Post
Every few years there will be a boom and bust of one industry, first came the highway build up in the mid 1990s, then the airport expansion in the late 1990s to the early 2000s, then the subway construction rush in the mid 2000s, and now HSR. I sure hope the final product will be a more balanced development approach. So far those busts have not hurt any one of the aforementioned industries, China is still building more highway, airport, subway, and HSR than anybody else in the world.
I agree. With 1.3 billion population and this urbanization rate it is almost impossible to over-invest on infrastructure in China.
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Old April 27th, 2011, 12:55 AM   #2074
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmmwv View Post
Every few years there will be a boom and bust of one industry, first came the highway build up in the mid 1990s, then the airport expansion in the late 1990s to the early 2000s, then the subway construction rush in the mid 2000s, and now HSR. I sure hope the final product will be a more balanced development approach. So far those busts have not hurt any one of the aforementioned industries, China is still building more highway, airport, subway, and HSR than anybody else in the world.
actually I don't think the expressway construction has been slowed at all. and it hasn't reached a bust yet. there are more expressways built in the past six years than all expressways built before 2004. There are many more expressways to be built during the 12th Five-Year-Plan period (2011-2015), probably another 30,000 km .

Code:
Updated Historical Development of Expressway Length in China

Year Distance (KM)
01-01-1988 0
01-01-1989 147
01-01-1990 271
01-01-1991 522
01-01-1992 574
01-01-1993 652
01-01-1994 1145
01-01-1995 1603
01-01-1996 2141
01-01-1997 3422
01-01-1998 4771
01-01-1999 8733
01-01-2000 11605
01-01-2001 16314
01-01-2002 19453
01-01-2003 25200
01-01-2004 29800
01-01-2005 34300
01-01-2006 41005
01-01-2007 45339
01-01-2008 53913
01-01-2009 60346
01-01-2010 65065
01-01-2011 74000
Airports are still expanding, metro construction goes crazy in dozens of cities. The construction will surely be slowed at a certain point, but at the moment China still needs more transportation infrastructure.

HSR construction is different from the other transportation infrastructure construction. Never has such a large amount of money been put into so few hands in such a short time. MoR draws too much attention, and eventually too much heat. The expressways, metro systems and airports are built by cities and provinces, and local governments and industries all get a piece of the cake. But for railway projects, regardless where they are, MoR is always behind them and takes charge. It is a target too big and too easy for people to miss when anything goes wrong.
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Old April 27th, 2011, 01:39 AM   #2075
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PredyGr View Post
He(the author) points out the problems caused to the airlines by the CRH and the need for better passenger distribution. These exactly manage the current MoR with the speed reduction decision, protection of the airlines and different passenger distribution.

Of course, i disagree with the measures taken but at least looks like, the ruckus about safety concerns and excess energy consumption was just a smoke screen.
When analyzing the problems, he spent a big chunk of his article talking about migrant workers. Here are a few mistakes he made:
1. The 'luxury sleeper' is on a D-train running on a slow conventional line, not on HSR. Thus there is no need to bring it in when discussing HSRs. Plus, most seats on that train cost about $80.
2. He seems not knowing where the migrant workers are from and what popular routes these workers travel during spring festivals. Most existing HSRs are not on those popular routes.
3. He seems to believe that migrant workers choose long distance buses because they are cheap. wrong again. in most cases they are forced to because there is no other option. Long-distance buses are not cheap at all compared to trains, especially during festivals. As a matter of fact, if you take a look at the bus ticket price from Guangdong(one of the most popular working place for migrant workers) to other provinces during the spring festival, you can see they are ridiculously expensive. Long distance bus charges 279 RMB from Foshan to Guangxi Beihai(555km), more than 0.50 RMB/km; long distance bus charges 300 RMB from Zhongshan to Guangxi Guiguang (570km), 0.52 RMB/km. The second class seat on 350km/h Wuhan-Guangzhou HSR charges 0.46 RMB/km.

after all, he is an expert on AMERICAN freight transportation. but he seems not knowing much about Chinese freight rail either. He tries to get all information from media reports, but just because new freight rails do not get much media coverage does not mean they are not under construction or proposed.
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Old April 27th, 2011, 03:40 AM   #2076
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CRH380A to MSTS next







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Old April 27th, 2011, 08:49 AM   #2077
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fragel View Post
2. He seems not knowing where the migrant workers are from and what popular routes these workers travel during spring festivals. Most existing HSRs are not on those popular routes.
Could you list these routes? And which existing HSR-s are on these routes? Are any HSR-s under construction on these routes?
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Originally Posted by fragel View Post
3. He seems to believe that migrant workers choose long distance buses because they are cheap. wrong again. in most cases they are forced to because there is no other option. Long-distance buses are not cheap at all compared to trains, especially during festivals. As a matter of fact, if you take a look at the bus ticket price from Guangdong(one of the most popular working place for migrant workers) to other provinces during the spring festival, you can see they are ridiculously expensive. Long distance bus charges 279 RMB from Foshan to Guangxi Beihai(555km), more than 0.50 RMB/km; long distance bus charges 300 RMB from Zhongshan to Guangxi Guiguang (570km), 0.52 RMB/km. The second class seat on 350km/h Wuhan-Guangzhou HSR charges 0.46 RMB/km.
How do these prices compare to low-speed trains? To airplanes?

As shown, 350 km/h trains are cheaper than buses, and far faster. Are there any buses left along the Guangzhou-Wuhan high speed railway?

350 km/h trains are still inefficient compared to slower trains. Buses are limited to 90...110 km/h, so a train travelling at as little as 140 km/h would be definitely faster and (since even 350 km/h train is cheaper) far cheaper than the bus. Are there any plans to build new 120...200 km/h passenger railways through countryside not served by existing rails and only accessible by bus? These lines should be far cheaper to build than 350 km/h railways.

I understand that the whole southeastern coastal railway between Ningbo and Shenzhen is designed for 250 km/h maximum. In which month shall Shenzhen-Xiamen high speed railway open? How many stations are between Longhua and Xiamen? Are these regions of eastern Guangdong countryside home for any migrant workers? And how much do tickets of 250 km/h railway cost compared to 350 km/h railway?

How far is construction of high speed railway Guangzhou-Nanning?
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Old April 27th, 2011, 06:39 PM   #2078
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Construction work of the Kunming–Vientiane section of the Kunming–Singapore Railway began on April 25

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90...2/7360790.html

Quote:
CHINA - The Kunming-Singapore High-Speed Railway began construction on April 25. The railway will shorten the travel time between Kunming and Singapore to only a little more than 10 hours in the future.

The Chinese government expects the railway to be put into operation by 2020. The line, starting from Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province; passes Mohan, a border town with Laos; and Wangrong, a popular Chinese tourist city; and ends in Vientiane, capital of Laos. Construction of the Mohan Railway Logistics Center has already started.

According to the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Trans-Asian Railway Network, the Kunming-Singapore High-Speed Railway, which is in fact the central line of the southeast part of the Trans-Asian Railway Network, will also pass Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur, and end in Singapore, with a total distance of 3,900 kilometers. Once completed, it will take passengers a little more than 10 hours to travel between Kunming and Singapore by train.

Chen Tiejun, a researcher at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies under the Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences, said that the Trans-Asian Railway Network has a far-reaching impact on countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-region.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) occupies an increasingly important strategic position due to the acceleration of ASEAN integration. The ASEAN-China Free Trade Area has removed man-made trade barriers, but the removal of natural barriers will require the construction of the Trans-Asian Railway Network and other infrastructure.

After the Trans-Asian Railway Network is completed, Vietnam and Cambodia will be linked with Thailand and Myanmar by train, and China will have a closer political and economic relationship with countries in the Mekong River Basin where the total population has reached 300 million people.

Furthermore, energy and goods that Japan and South Korea need can also be transported to both countries through this railway network of global significance.

The railway network will facilitate the movement of goods and people, improve the efficiency of economic activities, and help create a more peaceful and stable geopolitical environment.
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Old April 27th, 2011, 07:49 PM   #2079
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total distance of 3,900 kilometers. Once completed, it will take passengers a little more than 10 hours to travel between Kunming and Singapore by train.
avg 350km/h?? some facts might need to be checked...
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Old April 27th, 2011, 11:51 PM   #2080
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fragel View Post
When analyzing the problems, he spent a big chunk of his article talking about migrant workers.
A huge chunk of the Spring Festival migration is students, and normally they are more likely to use HSR than others because they tend to travel between major cities, and most of them have no problem affording the ticket. In fact I never thought money is an issue when dealing with migrant workers traveling home. They only got to go home once a year and migrant worker pay has been increasing steadily every year, there are numerous reports of migrant workers rent cars to travel home, or even buy used ones, drive home and resell.
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