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Old August 16th, 2013, 10:58 AM   #6321
chornedsnorkack
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Solving the Railway Financing Dilemma
14 August 2013
Caixin

Expansion should move away from building costly high-speed lines in sparsely populated western regions, and focus on building commuter rail in urban and suburban areas. In Tokyo, for example, there is 1,134 kilometers of commuter rail and 312 kilometers of subway track. This is fairly standard in cities around the world. Commuter rail construction could be financed from the sale of land near rail stations that rise in value, a winning situation for all parties.
This financing model will require changes to local governments' tax and land sales models. Railroad organization management needs to be overhauled. The 18 rail bureaus under the CRC are holdovers of the previous Ministry of Railways. The bureaus are much too fragmented for effective management and independent operation as autonomous market actors. Most of the freight handled by any given bureau must be shipped through other bureaus and requires centralized management from the CRC.

The CRC should organize the bureaus into subsidiaries – perhaps three in all – one for the north, central and south part of the country. Each company would be a legal person capable of issuing bonds and controlling its own finances. The CRC would act as the controlling shareholder and outside investors can own stakes in these companies. The subsidiaries would also be more responsive to market forces.

The CRC should also allow private railroad operators to access to the national network. Currently, privately and locally financed railroads and trains in operation are not permitted to connect to the CRC's national network. Granting access will increase investments in privately and locally owned rail projects.
Some of these arguments are contradictory.

IF China needs to build commuter railway networks THEN it makes perfect sense to control and finance them locally. In which case the number of about 18 railway bureaus makes perfect sense! It seems to me that many urban regions in China cross prefecture level city boundaries (prefectures, autonomous prefectures and leagues are usually not urbanized) so a railway bureau of about province size could plan and run a commuter rail network. The exceptions being the two transborder urban regions of capital (spanning Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei) and Yangtze Delta (spanning Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui). And that is where a single railway bureau spanning several provinces would do nicely.

Yes, there is a need for overarching organization handling the long-distance freight and passenger transportation. But I do not see natural borders of "north, centre and south" here - there would still be a need to coordinate transborder traffic and route planning, so that is what is best done on the central level of Railway Corporation.

Last edited by chornedsnorkack; August 16th, 2013 at 11:57 AM.
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Old August 16th, 2013, 06:24 PM   #6322
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
Some of these arguments are contradictory.

IF China needs to build commuter railway networks THEN it makes perfect sense to control and finance them locally. In which case the number of about 18 railway bureaus makes perfect sense! It seems to me that many urban regions in China cross prefecture level city boundaries (prefectures, autonomous prefectures and leagues are usually not urbanized) so a railway bureau of about province size could plan and run a commuter rail network. The exceptions being the two transborder urban regions of capital (spanning Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei) and Yangtze Delta (spanning Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui). And that is where a single railway bureau spanning several provinces would do nicely.

Yes, there is a need for overarching organization handling the long-distance freight and passenger transportation. But I do not see natural borders of "north, centre and south" here - there would still be a need to coordinate transborder traffic and route planning, so that is what is best done on the central level of Railway Corporation.
Caixi has huge aviation background, the west region has several big aviation hubs such as Chengdu, Kunming, that's is the reason why it said:"Expansion should move away from building costly high-speed lines in sparsely populated western regions, and focus on building commuter rail in urban and suburban areas" , no need to take it seriously
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Old August 16th, 2013, 06:47 PM   #6323
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Old August 16th, 2013, 07:00 PM   #6324
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when talk about west china, you may think it like this, 90% of chinese population live in East part of China, west part of China is sparsely populated
image hosted on flickr


but when we talk about high speed railway, the West china definition is quite different
image hosted on flickr

so to call "west china" as "sparsely populated western regions" is misleading, for example sichuang province , Chongqing city, shaanxi province, Yunnan province are all densely populated region, they all deserve high speed railway as the east coast region

Last edited by Traceparts; August 16th, 2013 at 07:06 PM.
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Old August 16th, 2013, 10:56 PM   #6325
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
I tried this exact Shenzhen North - Guangzhou South route recently (G trains). They were all sold out. I had to wait 6 hours for the next available departure in Deluxe Class (not Second, not First, but one above First). I ended up taking a bus but secured the return for the next day in First Class.

My return trip left with a full First Class.

Shenzhen - Guangzhou East sees far more D trains and the ticket situation is a lot better.
This is a little strange given that Shenzhen North is quite some distance away from the main urban core of Shenzhen (there are plans for a new 'CBD' there of course but that is still just a plan). It takes time to get there from most central places. Whereas Shenzhen station is at one of the busiest central spots of the city. So why is that?

However I noticed that they were using 8 car trains (at least some of them), not 16. My guess is that at the moment they simply don't have enough 16 car trainsets which would increase capacity during the busy times?
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Old August 17th, 2013, 12:50 AM   #6326
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Originally Posted by Traceparts View Post
when talk about west china, you may think it like this, 90% of chinese population live in East part of China, west part of China is sparsely populated
image hosted on flickr

Xian is considered northwest China - maybe at one time it was.

It is interesting that Northwestern University of USA and Northwestern University PRC are both located near the center of the country.
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Old August 17th, 2013, 01:23 AM   #6327
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Originally Posted by Pansori View Post
This is a little strange given that Shenzhen North is quite some distance away from the main urban core of Shenzhen (there are plans for a new 'CBD' there of course but that is still just a plan). It takes time to get there from most central places. Whereas Shenzhen station is at one of the busiest central spots of the city. So why is that?
The current u/c Futian station further south is nearer to the city center. The north station site was probably chosen for economic reasons as it is a large station with intersection for the future Maoming and Xiamen lines.
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Old August 17th, 2013, 02:17 AM   #6328
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In my opinion, one of unwritten reason why the Chinese gov is willing to expend resources in building high speed rails in sparsely populated areas(the lanzhou to urumqi line for example) is for defense/military purpose.

If we look back history it is pretty clear repeating pattern. Only this time the Chinese is very clever and forward thinking.

In the 1930s, Germany was leading in technology revolution. They just lost WW1 but quickly re industrialize in just 15+ years. Then Adolf Hitler created autobahns, with straight roads and no intersections and there were only a handful of vehicles at that time. These roads were even designed so straight that it was possible to land an aircraft. This project did indeed stimulate the German economy at that time. Unfortunately the hidden agenda was for preparation for war to transport troops efficiently.

When the Germans were defeated in WW2 in 1945, Americans occupied west germany saw the immense strategic military and economic value of the autobahns. So impressed that Eisenhower signed the immediate construction of the American Interstate system in the early 1950s. This project required very huge investment and very little return. It indeed stimulate the American economy and became an industrial superpower in 1950-1980s.

Fast forward to 21th century. The Chinese replicated the autobahn concept but with a twist. They added the high speed rails to efficiently transport people. And in case oil runs out or scarcely available, efficient transport shall still be possible. The economic results are clearly visible. So in an event of war or even disasters these lines will be highly valuable to transport troops and materials. And IMO this is probably one of the strategic reason.

The Chinese high speed rail strategy is very clever. They dont have any viable technology from the start. They just buy whats already working and developed it further. And the disgraced MOR minister Liu Zhijun made one good point to build High speed rails very fast to beat inflation and while the resources are still cheap. His point was so good, in fact the MOR ministry received the second highest budget, just behind the military.

Who would be willing to build high speed rail in 2020s forward when the materials will be expensive, particularly copper and steel? It just make sense build them now while resources are still cheap.
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Last edited by silent_dragon; August 17th, 2013 at 04:28 AM.
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Old August 17th, 2013, 10:21 AM   #6329
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silent_dragon View Post
So in an event of war or even disasters these lines will be highly valuable to transport troops and materials. And IMO this is probably one of the strategic reason.
I wonder what type of war or disaster the Chinese might have in mind when making this provision. ISTR when they were heading west to Chongqing the last train pulled up the rails behind and carried them away, while sappers dynamited the bridges. Most of the HSR network seems to be built fairly rugged, but it hasn't had a real earthquake/flood test yet, and in armed conflict what remained would be reduced fairly quickly to diesel haulage.
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Old August 17th, 2013, 10:24 AM   #6330
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sichuan province , Chongqing city, shaanxi province, Yunnan province are all densely populated region, they all deserve high speed railway as the east coast region undefined
They are not densely populated in Chinese terms. Sichuan and Yunnan have vast areas of open rural mountainous countryside. Shaanxi is also sparsely populated when compared to Hebei and Henan.

The rail is going where the people are.

Quote:
Xian is considered northwest China - maybe at one time it was.
It still is from the Chinese perspective. You are looking at a map. The Chinese look at where they are, where people live, and they aren't west of Xi'an. Xi'an was the end of the Silk Road - IOW it was the western most trading post in China. This is still true today. It is the first large city when you come from the West - all other cities to the west are smaller than Xi'an. It's where dates (the fruit) come into the country. Still.

Sichuan, Shaanxi, Yunnan, Inner Mongolia, and anything north or east of Beijing is all considered 'far away and distant' in Chinese thinking. China, the core, is the remaining provinces to the south and east of those I mention. 1.05 billion people live in those provinces. <30% of the landmass of China.

The country is mostly empty with everyone crowded into the eastern coastal provinces.

Last edited by China Hand; August 17th, 2013 at 10:34 AM.
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Old August 17th, 2013, 11:40 AM   #6331
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They are not densely populated in Chinese terms. Sichuan and Yunnan have vast areas of open rural mountainous countryside. Shaanxi is also sparsely populated when compared to Hebei and Henan.
Population densities over the entire borders of province:
Henan - 582
Chongqing - 379
Hebei - 363
Sichuan - 180
Shaanxi - 180
Yunnan - 112.

But these vast areas of open mountains are in western parts of Sichuan - actually, the old Xikang Province. The Red Basin of Eastern Sichuan, east of Dujiangyan and Yibin at the foot of Daxue mountains, is pretty densely settled.
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It still is from the Chinese perspective. You are looking at a map. The Chinese look at where they are, where people live, and they aren't west of Xi'an.
Xian is the heart of Zhou, Qin, Han and Tang. And Guanzhong extends both east and west of Xian - as far as Baoji.

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Xi'an was the end of the Silk Road - IOW it was the western most trading post in China. This is still true today. It is the first large city when you come from the West - all other cities to the west are smaller than Xi'an.
True by comparison. But the Chinese sedentary dry farming goes on across Loess Plateau of western Shaanxi into eastern Gansu. It may be more logical to count Lanzhou as the first large city - counting the bulk of Gansu corridor as a real desert, finally.
Quote:
Originally Posted by China Hand View Post

Sichuan, Shaanxi, Yunnan, Inner Mongolia, and anything north or east of Beijing is all considered 'far away and distant' in Chinese thinking. China, the core, is the remaining provinces to the south and east of those I mention. 1.05 billion people live in those provinces. <30% of the landmass of China.

The country is mostly empty with everyone crowded into the eastern coastal provinces.
Liaoning is east of Beijing, yet it also is eastern coastal. Population density 289 is bigger than e. g. Jiangxi (257). Of course, it is Manchukuo, not China Proper.
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Old August 17th, 2013, 01:22 PM   #6332
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[IMG]http://i41.************/mx11zd.png[/IMG]

Red is where the dense part of China exists.

Book knowledge and the real world differ.

If you drive from Shanghai to Xi'an or Shaanxi, the decrease in density is obvious. If you included the 5 large population centres in the border provinces, you only gain their eastern portions.

In the image below, Chongqing and Chengdu and Xian are the three large areas west of the broader density. It's easy to see the Henan border with Shanxi and Shaanxi as density drops there.


Last edited by China Hand; August 17th, 2013 at 01:31 PM.
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Old August 17th, 2013, 01:44 PM   #6333
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Originally Posted by China Hand View Post
Red is where the dense part of China exists.
Not according to your second map.
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Originally Posted by China Hand View Post
In the image below, Chongqing and Chengdu and Xian are the three large areas west of the broader density. It's easy to see the Henan border with Shanxi and Shaanxi as density drops there.
Yes, on the mountain front of Taihangshan.

But it is easy to see the Henan and Anhui border with Hubei, Jiangxi and Fujian as well - because the population density drops on Dabeishan and Nanling as well. Guangzhou is far away to the south of the broader density, separated by wide and sparsely settled Nanling.
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Old August 17th, 2013, 01:57 PM   #6334
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chornedsnorkack you obviously are basing your opinions on book/internet knowledge. 60 years of life has taught me that books miss 99.9% of life as it truly exists.

I live in China.

Others can decide who is correct.
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Old August 17th, 2013, 03:41 PM   #6335
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These maps are more detailed and offer a useful comparison between China and Europe.

You can see that the Paris-Lyon HSR works because they are large cities, even though it is mostly empty countryside between them.

You can also see that there is a population corridor from Xian-Lanzhou-Urumqi.

And if I look at Lanzhou-Jiuquan, I see a 700km population corridor with 15-20million people.
So a HSR to complement the conventional track looks reasonable as there will be a demand from the people living there and also from through traffic.



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Old August 17th, 2013, 05:11 PM   #6336
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This is really an interesting map. Majority of the Indians are living at the foot of the Himalayas mountain range. And majority of the Chinese in the coastal region.

From this it can be deduced that the Indians are highly dependent to the Himalayas water run off. I wonder why the Indians are not densely populated in the coastal regions like in China or US.
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Old August 17th, 2013, 07:33 PM   #6337
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pansori View Post
This is a little strange given that Shenzhen North is quite some distance away from the main urban core of Shenzhen (there are plans for a new 'CBD' there of course but that is still just a plan). It takes time to get there from most central places. Whereas Shenzhen station is at one of the busiest central spots of the city. So why is that?

However I noticed that they were using 8 car trains (at least some of them), not 16. My guess is that at the moment they simply don't have enough 16 car trainsets which would increase capacity during the busy times?
Shenzhen North is about the same distance from the Futian CBD as the Lo Wu station, and the line is new for G trains that will eventually reach Kowloon.
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Old August 17th, 2013, 08:06 PM   #6338
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Probably more a dependency on the monsoon, though the Himalayan run-off will no doubt be important. The map of Indian potential high-speed lines matches the density map somewhat.



More in the Pan-Asian high-speed thread.
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Old August 17th, 2013, 09:04 PM   #6339
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Probably more a dependency on the monsoon, though the Himalayan run-off will no doubt be important.
IMO mainly dependency of relief. The broad Ganges plain lies on the feet of Himalayas. Due to monsoon, its most densely settled part is coastal - Bangladesh and West Bengal. The upper plain, towards Delhi, is slightly less densely settled - but the hills of Deccan are much less dense. There are very densely settled parts on narrow coastal plains - but these are narrow and small clusters around the coast. Much like southern China, which also is sparsely settled for the same reason - hills, and narrow though sometimes very densely settled coastal plains.
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Old August 18th, 2013, 01:15 AM   #6340
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Sichuan and Yunnan have vast areas of open rural mountainous countryside. Shaanxi is also sparsely populated when compared to Hebei and Henan.

The rail is going where the people are.
A lot of rail in the past went where the politicians told it to go. An example is the Chengdu - Kunming line surveyed in the 1950s. The shortest route went through the easiest construction country, but the western route was chosen. Detailed survey had revealed that the Panzhihua mineralization was so important the route is the longest and through the most difficult mountains.
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Of course the construction techniques of modern HSR are somewhat improved, but I believe the politics of route choice are still much the same.
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