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Old November 1st, 2012, 03:33 AM   #4801
laojang
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idoke View Post
My family and I just went to Hangzhou (from Beijing) and back from Shanghai.
I wanted to take the train, but it costs the same as flight, and takes 6 hours to Hangzhou (vs 1:45 in plane) and 5 hours from Shanghai (vs 2 hours by plane).

Also, we bought the air-tickets via the internet and they were delivered to our home. If we choose the train, we had to go to the train station to buy them!

I can't see why anyone would choose the train over a flight. Apparently some do, but the huge investments in high-speed-rails ain't worth the money. China should have spent the money building more local trains.

Same is true for Beijing-Tianjin train - it might save 15-10 minutes vs normal train, but is it really worth the huge investment?
We took the train 2 years ago. It took us 25 min to arrive to Beijing and then almost 2 hours to get home from Beijing station!
So I can't say that the HSR saved us much time.
The main reason one can get such a cheap air ticket is the opening of the HSR. Even so, in high season it is doubtful one can get it with this price.
Plus many cities in between do not have convenient air service. For example
Jinan, the airport is quite far away from the city.
One also has to take into account the waiting time and traveling time between airports and
destination, which is longer than that from train station in general.
It is doubtful that flying between Beijing to Jinan takes less time than
taking the G train for most people. One can not say that flying from BJ to SH only takes
2 hours. Usually, the 2 hour schedule is gate to gate for the plane in the best case. One
has to board and deboard the plan, taxi the plane, etc.
Building new lines
free up the old line too. If one builds a new line why not go with the best
technology?

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Old November 1st, 2012, 03:14 PM   #4802
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FM 2258 View Post
I know but it was mentioned that some people from Hong Kong choose to fly out of SZX instead of HKG for cheaper flights. I wonder how people from Hong Kong get to SZX right now the fastest.

In reality, it's very small amount of people that do, most prefer the convenience of HKIA
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Old November 1st, 2012, 06:04 PM   #4803
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idoke View Post

Same is true for Beijing-Tianjin train - it might save 15-10 minutes vs normal train, but is it really worth the huge investment?
We took the train 2 years ago. It took us 25 min to arrive to Beijing and then almost 2 hours to get home from Beijing station!
So I can't say that the HSR saved us much time.
Ah yes, so because it wasn't convenient for you, means it isn't convenient for anyone else.

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Old November 1st, 2012, 07:05 PM   #4804
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idoke View Post
My family and I just went to Hangzhou (from Beijing) and back from Shanghai.
I wanted to take the train, but it costs the same as flight, and takes 6 hours to Hangzhou (vs 1:45 in plane) and 5 hours from Shanghai (vs 2 hours by plane).

Also, we bought the air-tickets via the internet and they were delivered to our home. If we choose the train, we had to go to the train station to buy them!

I can't see why anyone would choose the train over a flight. Apparently some do, but the huge investments in high-speed-rails ain't worth the money. China should have spent the money building more local trains.

Same is true for Beijing-Tianjin train - it might save 15-10 minutes vs normal train, but is it really worth the huge investment?
We took the train 2 years ago. It took us 25 min to arrive to Beijing and then almost 2 hours to get home from Beijing station!
So I can't say that the HSR saved us much time.
Beijing-Tianjin was originally planned as a slower 250km/h railway. But then the Olympics entered the picture, and it was upgraded to 330km/h as a technology demonstrator and showcase.

And I've seen an estimate that the cost difference is around 30% for 350km/h instead of 200km/h.

So they decided they might as well future-proof the railway and go faster.
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 01:40 AM   #4805
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idoke View Post
My family and I just went to Hangzhou (from Beijing) and back from Shanghai.
I wanted to take the train, but it costs the same as flight, and takes 6 hours to Hangzhou (vs 1:45 in plane) and 5 hours from Shanghai (vs 2 hours by plane).

Also, we bought the air-tickets via the internet and they were delivered to our home. If we choose the train, we had to go to the train station to buy them!

I can't see why anyone would choose the train over a flight. Apparently some do, but the huge investments in high-speed-rails ain't worth the money. China should have spent the money building more local trains.

Same is true for Beijing-Tianjin train - it might save 15-10 minutes vs normal train, but is it really worth the huge investment?
We took the train 2 years ago. It took us 25 min to arrive to Beijing and then almost 2 hours to get home from Beijing station!
So I can't say that the HSR saved us much time.
No, there is an online ticketing system--you're just not familiar with the system, that's all; tickets for the opening of Beijing-Shanghai HSR sold out within an hour.

I'll tell you why high speed rail in China makes every bit of sense. China has 1.6 billion people, and will likely continue to grow. And most of them (over 90%) will travel once every year (New Year). That's moving over one billion people in less than a month. 1,000,000,000 divided by 30 days = 33 million per day. That means the system has to move more than one million people per hour, non-stop. There is no way air service can keep up with that kind of demand; a plane holds a maximum a little over 400 people, and is limited by weather. (Did we forget that New Year is in the middle of winter, when weather screws everything up?) On the contrary, a 16-car train can carry more than 1600, taking even more if standing tickets are sold; the best part is that unlike airplanes, trains don't really care that much about weather.


Quote:
Originally Posted by idoke View Post
Also, one needs to remember that the HSR are subsidized, so the actual cost of a train trip is more expensive than flight.
Oh, so we're going to complain about subsidization are we? Please tell me how airports pop out of the ground for free. [sarcastic:wonka]
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 07:29 AM   #4806
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Going back to page 223 of this thread.

"Lanzhou-Xinjiang (兰新线) 2nd rail:
Length: 1,776 km, 31 stations
Total cost: 14.35 billion yuan
Speed: 200km/h (designed max 350km/h)
Construction: 11/4/2009 ~ 2014"

I thought the Xinjiang high speed rail would cost over $20 billion? How is it possibly so cheap?

Also I imagine a railway capable of 350km/h is a lot more expensive than a 200km/h railway so it seems like a really bad decision to construct a true high speed railway across this desolate part of the country.

I can understand if there needs to be a 2nd rail line so that space for freight is cleared on the first line but why in the world would they build a much more expensive 2nd high speed rail line?
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 11:24 AM   #4807
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damndynamite View Post
Going back to page 223 of this thread.

"Lanzhou-Xinjiang (兰新线) 2nd rail:
Length: 1,776 km, 31 stations
Total cost: 14.35 [~143.50] billion yuan
Speed: 200km/h (designed max 350km/h)
Construction: 11/4/2009 ~ 2014"

I thought the Xinjiang high speed rail would cost over $20 billion? How is it possibly so cheap?

Also I imagine a railway capable of 350km/h is a lot more expensive than a 200km/h railway so it seems like a really bad decision to construct a true high speed railway across this desolate part of the country.

I can understand if there needs to be a 2nd rail line so that space for freight is cleared on the first line but why in the world would they build a much more expensive 2nd high speed rail line?


1, build it while it's still "cheap"
2, tourism
3, symbolic
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 11:36 AM   #4808
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Out of curiosity I compiled a list of highest scheduled average speeds on the Chinese HSR lines. Perhaps someone is interested in it. Schedules are from Chinatrainguide.com, line lengths are mostly from Wikipedia as I believe the ones mentioned with the schedule are distances along the older lines.

Code:
Route                  Length Fastest train Time Min Average speed
Beijing S–Shanghai H   1303   G1            4:48 288 271
Hefei–Bengbu S         131    G273          0:45 45  175
Zhengzhou E–Wuhan      474    G824          1:59 119 239
Wuhan–Guangzhou S      969    G1001         3:41 221 263
Guangzhou S–Shenzhen N 102    G1005         0:29 29  211
Ningbo E–Wenzhou S     268    D5571         1:35 95  169
Wenzhou S–Fuzhou S     298    D3105         1:52 112 160
Fuzhou S–Xiamen N      226    D6271         1:23 83  163

Qingdao–Jinan E        364    D6020         2:25 145 151
Shijiazhuang N–Taiyuan 190    D2003         1:18 78  146
Zhengzhou–Xi'an N      455    G844          2:03 123 222
Nanjing S–Hefei        166    D3018         1:02 62  161
Hefei–Wuhan            351    D3018         2:22 142 148
Hankou–Yichang E       293    D5821         1:45 105 167
Yichang E–Lichuan      275    T6716         2:54 174 95
Suining–Chengdu        148    D5111         0:55 55  161
Shanghai H–Hangzhou    164    G61           0:49 49  201

Beidaihe–Shenyang N    404    D25           2:41 161 151
Xiamen N–Longyan       156    D6415         1:08 68  138

Beijing S–Tianjin      115    C2001         0:33 33  209
Chengdu-Dujiangyan     65     D6161         0:28 28  139
Shanghai–Nanjing       301    G7016         1:19 79  229
Nanchang–Jiujiang      131    D6346         0:58 58  136
Haikou E–Sanya         284    D7309         1:34 94  181
Changchun–Jilin        111    D5011         0:42 42  159
Guangzhou S–Zhuhai N   93     D7601         0:48 48  116
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 02:18 PM   #4809
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idoke View Post
I can't see why anyone would choose the train over a flight. Apparently some do, but the huge investments in high-speed-rails ain't worth the money. China should have spent the money building more local trains.

Same is true for Beijing-Tianjin train - it might save 15-10 minutes vs normal train, but is it really worth the huge investment?
We took the train 2 years ago. It took us 25 min to arrive to Beijing and then almost 2 hours to get home from Beijing station!
So I can't say that the HSR saved us much time.
If one lives along the Xi'an-ZhengZhou-Xuzhou-Wuhan-Guangzhou line but not near a major air hub, the CRH makes much more sense. From my home I need to spend 1 to 5 hours getting to the airport, then 2.5 hours to get to my destination, then another 1.5 hours to get to Guangzhou South or Shenzhen. That's 5 to 9 hours and if there is any delay add 1, 2 or 3 hours of sitting on the tarmac in an aluminium tube.

The closer airport is Ą4000 r/t anywhere in country, the one 5 hours away is Ą2000 r/t anywhere, but I spent 5 hours on a bus. If I travel the discount fare only with restricted times I can fly for 1100 r/t.

The price is then a bit more for CRH.

However the deal breaker for me is that CRH has affordable first class with large seats, wide seats, and enormous seat pitch so I may stretch out my nearly 2 metre frame. This added space more than justifies the additional time and possible additional expense compared to discount Ctrip fares.

I would rather spend an additional few hours sitting comfortably, napping, reading, eating and watching the scenery flash by than get there in less time with my knees jammed into my leg and the seat-back in front of me.

Business and First Class airfare just does not make sense and I do not accrue enough frequent flyer miles to justify the expense.
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 02:27 PM   #4810
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pansori View Post
I have asked this question but so far noone has answered. The reason I was asking about ticket prices for flights was because I've heard flights may, in fact, be very cheap and be in line with low cost carriers like AirAsia in the nearby SE Asian countries. And, of course they are competitive with CRH rail services (i.e. literally may be similar).
To answer your question, there are occasionally flights that are Ą310 one way plus 190 in taxes and fees, to/from most major cities in the eastern third of China. This is competitive with CRH travel, provided no delays occur and your departure and arrival airports do not add too much time to your trip compared to the CRH.

Search Ctrip for such fares using any city combination.
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 05:18 PM   #4811
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Restless View Post
The upper limit of time competitiveness between 350km/h rail is normally around 800km-1000km, so it is faster to get a plane for a 1500km journey.
But on a 1500km journey, you have space to use a laptop effectively for 4hours whilst it is wasted time on a cramped airplane. And how much is that time worth?
That is up to each rider. If your hourly rate times the hours lost on the train is more than the price differential, then take the plane.

Ex.:

Airfare is 1800 and takes 5 hours total.
CRH is 1000 and take 9 hours total.
You earn 250 per hour. Add (9-5) X 250 = 1000 to train trip.
Now the train trip 'costs' you 2000 in lost wages and tickets.
This is larger than 1800, so you fly.
Unless you value an intangible, such as leg room, bigger seats, or you are afraid to fly.
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 05:34 PM   #4812
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Quote:
Originally Posted by China Hand View Post

Airfare is 1800 and takes 5 hours total.
CRH is 1000 and take 9 hours total.
You earn 250 per hour. Add (9-5) X 250 = 1000 to train trip.
Now the train trip 'costs' you 2000 in lost wages and tickets.
This is larger than 1800, so you fly.
Unless you value an intangible, such as leg room, bigger seats, or you are afraid to fly.
And even if it is intangible, it may or may not be available for a definite price.

E. g. the airfare is 1800 but that is in economy class. The CRH seats are bigger and have more legroom - in fact as much as the business class seats on the plane. But the business class tickets on the plane cost not 1800 but 3600. Since the CRH tickets are 2000 including the lost time, you are better off on CRH.
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 06:20 PM   #4813
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Quote:
Originally Posted by China Hand View Post
That is up to each rider. If your hourly rate times the hours lost on the train is more than the price differential, then take the plane.

Ex.:

Airfare is 1800 and takes 5 hours total.
CRH is 1000 and take 9 hours total.
You earn 250 per hour. Add (9-5) X 250 = 1000 to train trip.
Now the train trip 'costs' you 2000 in lost wages and tickets.
This is larger than 1800, so you fly.
Unless you value an intangible, such as leg room, bigger seats, or you are afraid to fly.
Unless you can keep working on the train, but not on the plane, in which case the train only costs you the preliminary travel time to/from the station and boarding, which is almost always less than the total waste of time during airplane travel.
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 06:57 PM   #4814
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Quote:
Originally Posted by China Hand View Post
That is up to each rider. If your hourly rate times the hours lost on the train is more than the price differential, then take the plane.

Ex.:

Airfare is 1800 and takes 5 hours total.
CRH is 1000 and take 9 hours total.
You earn 250 per hour. Add (9-5) X 250 = 1000 to train trip.
Now the train trip 'costs' you 2000 in lost wages and tickets.
This is larger than 1800, so you fly.
Unless you value an intangible, such as leg room, bigger seats, or you are afraid to fly.
I meant that on a train, you have to take into account wages earned, and most of the time on a train is productive time.

Air
Total Travel Time = 5 hours
Ticket Cost: 1800RMB
Working Time = 0 hours on train + 4hours on the ground
Income Earned = 4 hours x 250RMB = 1000RMB

Train
Total Travel Time = 9hours
Ticket Cost = 1000RMB
Working Time = say 6 hours of that 9 hour trip
Income Earned = 6hours x 250RMB = 1500RMB

So you have less working time taking a plane, and it costs more.
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 07:29 PM   #4815
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damndynamite
I can understand if there needs to be a 2nd rail line so that space for freight is cleared on the first line but why in the world would they build a much more expensive 2nd high speed rail line?
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyridgeline View Post

1, build it while it's still "cheap"
2, tourism
3, symbolic
The 'cheap' part is non-trivial. China currently has a massive labour arbitrage advantage that is ramping up to 21st C. technical and skill levels. Right now, this labour pool is cheap but it won't stay that way for much longer.

Building these CRH lines now, in fact over building them, is the wise decision.

In the USA lines laid in the early-mid 1800's (with a labour pool that was remarkable close to the current Chinese one in cost, and sometimes ethnic makeup) were torn up in the late 20th. C. and the rail bed converted to walkways and parkland and bike paths.

To rebuild those lines today would cost astronomical sums of money, so much that it's is effectively impossible to do it.

So once you lay cheap rail or infrastructure and then rip it up, it's gone for good.
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Old November 3rd, 2012, 01:00 AM   #4816
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Quote:
Originally Posted by China Hand View Post
The 'cheap' part is non-trivial. China currently has a massive labour arbitrage advantage that is ramping up to 21st C. technical and skill levels. Right now, this labour pool is cheap but it won't stay that way for much longer.

Building these CRH lines now, in fact over building them, is the wise decision.

In the USA lines laid in the early-mid 1800's (with a labour pool that was remarkable close to the current Chinese one in cost, and sometimes ethnic makeup) were torn up in the late 20th. C. and the rail bed converted to walkways and parkland and bike paths.

To rebuild those lines today would cost astronomical sums of money, so much that it's is effectively impossible to do it.

So once you lay cheap rail or infrastructure and then rip it up, it's gone for good.
For capital-intensive railway construction, labour costs are not as important as land acquisition costs. Land becomes really expensive once people become wealthy.

In densely populated Japan and the UK, land costs are horrendous for new railway projects.
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Old November 3rd, 2012, 08:41 AM   #4817
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galactic View Post
Out of curiosity I compiled a list of highest scheduled average speeds on the Chinese HSR lines. Perhaps someone is interested in it. Schedules are from Chinatrainguide.com, line lengths are mostly from Wikipedia as I believe the ones mentioned with the schedule are distances along the older lines.

Code:
Route                  Length Fastest train Time Min Average speed
Beijing S–Shanghai H   1303   G1            4:48 288 271
Hefei–Bengbu S         131    G273          0:45 45  175
Zhengzhou E–Wuhan      474    G824          1:59 119 239
Wuhan–Guangzhou S      969    G1001         3:41 221 263
Guangzhou S–Shenzhen N 102    G1005         0:29 29  211
Ningbo E–Wenzhou S     268    D5571         1:35 95  169
Wenzhou S–Fuzhou S     298    D3105         1:52 112 160
Fuzhou S–Xiamen N      226    D6271         1:23 83  163

Qingdao–Jinan E        364    D6020         2:25 145 151
Shijiazhuang N–Taiyuan 190    D2003         1:18 78  146
Zhengzhou–Xi'an N      455    G844          2:03 123 222
Nanjing S–Hefei        166    D3018         1:02 62  161
Hefei–Wuhan            351    D3018         2:22 142 148
Hankou–Yichang E       293    D5821         1:45 105 167
Yichang E–Lichuan      275    T6716         2:54 174 95
Suining–Chengdu        148    D5111         0:55 55  161
Shanghai H–Hangzhou    164    G61           0:49 49  201

Beidaihe–Shenyang N    404    D25           2:41 161 151
Xiamen N–Longyan       156    D6415         1:08 68  138

Beijing S–Tianjin      115    C2001         0:33 33  209
Chengdu-Dujiangyan     65     D6161         0:28 28  139
Shanghai–Nanjing       301    G7016         1:19 79  229
Nanchang–Jiujiang      131    D6346         0:58 58  136
Haikou E–Sanya         284    D7309         1:34 94  181
Changchun–Jilin        111    D5011         0:42 42  159
Guangzhou S–Zhuhai N   93     D7601         0:48 48  116
Great!
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Old November 3rd, 2012, 10:19 AM   #4818
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Restless View Post
For capital-intensive railway construction, labour costs are not as important as land acquisition costs. Land becomes really expensive once people become wealthy.

In densely populated Japan and the UK, land costs are horrendous for new railway projects.
But unlike Ukogbani, Japan systematically does build new railways:
Tokaido Shinkansen, broke ground 1959, opened 1964
Sanyo Shinkansen Osaka-Okayama, started 1967, opened 1972
Sanyo Shinkansen Okayama-Osaka, broke ground 1970, opened 1975
Tohoku Shinkansen Omiya-Morioka, broke ground 1971, opened 1982
Joetsu Shinkansen, broke ground 1971, opened 1982
Tohoku Shinkansen Ueno-Omiya, broke ground ????, opened 1985
Tohoku Shinkansen Tokyo-Ueno, ????, opened 1991
Nagano Shinkansen, ????, opened 1997
Tohoku Shinkansen Morioka-Hachinohe, ????, opened 2002
Kyushu Shinkansen Kagoshima-Yatsushiro, broke ground 1991, opened 2004
Tohoku Shinkansen Hachinohe-Aomori, ????, opened 2010
Kyushu Shinkansen Hakata-Yatsushiro, ????, opened 2011

Hokuriku Shinkansen Nagano-Kanazawa, broke ground 1993, opened 2015
Hokkaido Shinkansen Aomori-Hakkodate, broke ground 2005, opened 2015
Hokuriku Shinkansen Kanazawa-Tsuruga, broke ground 2012, opened 2025
Chuo Shinkansen Shinagawa-Nagoya, ??? (before 1997), opened 2027

So... any financial comparisons? How have the costs of labour and land changed from the construction of Tokaido Shinkansen back 1959-1964 till the now ongoing works like Hokkaido Shinkansen?
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Old November 3rd, 2012, 01:31 PM   #4819
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
But unlike Ukogbani, Japan systematically does build new railways:
Tokaido Shinkansen, broke ground 1959, opened 1964
Sanyo Shinkansen Osaka-Okayama, started 1967, opened 1972
Sanyo Shinkansen Okayama-Osaka, broke ground 1970, opened 1975
Tohoku Shinkansen Omiya-Morioka, broke ground 1971, opened 1982
Joetsu Shinkansen, broke ground 1971, opened 1982
Tohoku Shinkansen Ueno-Omiya, broke ground ????, opened 1985
Tohoku Shinkansen Tokyo-Ueno, ????, opened 1991
Nagano Shinkansen, ????, opened 1997
Tohoku Shinkansen Morioka-Hachinohe, ????, opened 2002
Kyushu Shinkansen Kagoshima-Yatsushiro, broke ground 1991, opened 2004
Tohoku Shinkansen Hachinohe-Aomori, ????, opened 2010
Kyushu Shinkansen Hakata-Yatsushiro, ????, opened 2011

Hokuriku Shinkansen Nagano-Kanazawa, broke ground 1993, opened 2015
Hokkaido Shinkansen Aomori-Hakkodate, broke ground 2005, opened 2015
Hokuriku Shinkansen Kanazawa-Tsuruga, broke ground 2012, opened 2025
Chuo Shinkansen Shinagawa-Nagoya, ??? (before 1997), opened 2027

So... any financial comparisons? How have the costs of labour and land changed from the construction of Tokaido Shinkansen back 1959-1964 till the now ongoing works like Hokkaido Shinkansen?
I don't have Japanese stats, but I've seen the estimates for land acquisition in the UK which account for most of the cost for the entire project, not just labour costs. I also recall seeing a couple of analyses of Chinese railway projects, and thinking that there has been a large increase in land-related costs over the past 10years.

And note that in Japan, there was a definite slowdown in the length of Shinkansen railway construction in the past 20years. And that the newer projects have been loss-making, because costs were high and ridership low.
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Old November 4th, 2012, 02:56 PM   #4820
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The question what state the infrastructure will be 20 years from now, and if/how it will be used. China runs a considerable risk by its forced construction (with little room to learn from errors). The upside as mentioned is land cost/value by having the tracks laid down first, and people arriving later.

In Europe the land value of the railway station can exceed the transport value of the trains, so that they can reconstruct/sell/rent the area at profit. Something similar might happen in China.
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