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Old March 18th, 2014, 09:52 PM   #7721
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Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
Poor people simply don't travel much regardless of country for the obvious reason that they can't afford it.
Yes, but their need varies by country. Poor people who have home, job and family near the same place don´t have to spend their limited money on travel. Poor people who are migrant workers have to travel to find their jobs, and have to spend the money to get the little income they do have.
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Old March 18th, 2014, 10:06 PM   #7722
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Yes, but in China in particular how many times a year those migrant workers travel home? Twice a year? One can't make a fancy transportation system based on that... Besides there are still the old and slow trains for the most cost conscious.
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Old March 18th, 2014, 10:47 PM   #7723
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Are there any reasons other than cost for someone to choose conventional train over a high speed train for example Shanghai-Nanjing(I think they still run conventional trains)? Are high speed trains supposed to eventually replace parallel conventional lines or compliment them?
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Old March 18th, 2014, 11:19 PM   #7724
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Frankly, what is Europe is spending in infrastructure doesn't change a single thing for China. China needs this investment. Some people states (I guess this includes you too) China is investing too much by comparing the spending rates in US and Europe to that of China. China needs to spend more, much more than those countries because of obvious three facts: Its population, growth rate and in conjunction with these urbanization rate.

Another point made is this build up is "harmful" to population and somehow some "rights" are being stripped. Which is again misguided. Especially, high speed rail is a bliss for China, for its people and its environment. no other transportation method beats it. And some demolitions of old houses (which is really nothing in whole picture) because of railroad lines is not a sign of lawlessness, people are compensated.
What I wanted to show with that figure was that if e.g. the EU would spend the money under the regulatory conditions (the whole bulk of institutional differences) that are available in China, it could probably build much more than it does at the moment, even if we take the costs of labor into account. I.e. the difference is not that e.g. the EU would not have the financial resources.

I don't think that China should invest less or more... As about what is the right number I don't know, if I knew I would probably had a Nobel price on my shelving. It seems to be working so far, so why to change it that much. I like the momentum. Population has nothing to do wit the rate of the investment but urbanization and the growth, indeed, have to do with it. But more than that it hast to do with the stage of the development and some long term vision of a country.

Again, I think that we also don't understand each other. It is not about whether something is harmful of not. There is simply a different model used in Europe compared with China, the construction investments work under different conditions, the mood and affinity of the population and the government towards it is different. No one (at least me) is making a value statement as to which model is better atm and no one (at least me) is imposing anything on anyone. Every model has its own history and reasoning.

As about the rate of investments... I am not sure if they include the maintenance spending in the total picture. Once you realize the investments, the huge maintenance costs will get in the picture high investments rates won't be sustainable, but also won't be that much necessary.

But if we would like to look at the bigger picture... A society can chose very high rate of investments, trading off current consumption. It is just a question of the preferences of that given society. There might be a structural cultural differences that could sustain long term high level of investments in China at the costs of deferred consumption ... but I am not so sure for how long those cultural differences will last in the globalized world. In the same way, e.g. the European society will face this and will have to adjust accordingly by increasing investments and decreasing consumption in order to sustain competitiveness... that's btw one of the features of the current depression. Overall, we will probably see some convergence anyway.

But enough of this, back to the trains...
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Old March 19th, 2014, 02:44 AM   #7725
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? Tickets should be more subsidized to have cheaper tickets OR the system should be more profitable by increasing prices? You know, both cannot happen simultaneously.
Both could actually happen simultaneously.

HSR essentially has fixed costs in terms of the track infrastructure and rolling stock - which provides a huge amount of unused capacity on most lines.

So lower ticket costs at off-peak periods could fill up the train AND generate more revenues at the same time.
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Old March 19th, 2014, 01:52 PM   #7726
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Nanning-Guangzhou HSR

Trial operation has begun in Guangxi section(Nanning-Wuzhou) on March 19th,2014. And it will officially open in early next month.
1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

From cnr.cn&chinanews.com
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Old March 19th, 2014, 02:12 PM   #7727
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I would believe you if there was at least one failed HS line in the Western Hemisphere, but there isn't so it's all just speculation on paper...
Seems that ALL HSR in the Western Hemisphere failed before it was built.

Q.E.D.
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Old March 19th, 2014, 02:15 PM   #7728
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Trial operation has begun in Guangxi section(Nanning-Wuzhou) on March 19th,2014. And it will officially open in early next month.
Is the specific day known? 3rd? 5th?
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Old March 19th, 2014, 03:22 PM   #7729
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Is the specific day known? 3rd? 5th?
Not Sure but it's not much difference.
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Old March 19th, 2014, 03:31 PM   #7730
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I am not sure if we understand each other here. What I was saying is that the Chinese designs, construction speeds, methods, are often not likely obtainable in majority of the European countries, due to the legal requirements and legal rights that have to be respected. In order to respect those rights and requirements the construction becomes manifold more expensive and the designs, speeds and methods have to be different! Often those requirements also cause many inefficiencies that would otherwise not occur. The financial limit is thus invoked not by the available finances, but by the legal environment that makes the construction much more costly.

I don't propose a judgement on what is better - i.e. to have more regulation and less and costlier construction, or have less regulation and more and cheaper construction. Those are both legitimate political trade offs. I am not here to say which one is better. I think a common sense approach that doesn't go to extreme on both sides (i.e. too much regulation, or too little) are good is the best one.

Yes, China invests the most in the infrastructure, but e.g. EU invested just 20 % less funds between 92-11. The difference is about what it got for the invested funds, if you look at the amount of railways and roads built, there you can see the main difference - the costs of the infrastructure.



Should e.g. the EU give the same amount of gdp on infrastructure as China? I think it should invest more, but I don't think that the same rate is required.
Just a question - does this include private investment as well as government investment, or just government investment in infrastructure?
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Old March 19th, 2014, 03:47 PM   #7731
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Is it known how many stations exist between Nanning and Wuzhou?
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Old March 19th, 2014, 11:28 PM   #7732
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Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
Yes, but their need varies by country. Poor people who have home, job and family near the same place don´t have to spend their limited money on travel. Poor people who are migrant workers have to travel to find their jobs, and have to spend the money to get the little income they do have.
With urbanization there is a drift towards the cities on the eastern seaboard and that includes poorer people. However there is always a return to their place origin on a regular basis. In fact it's mainly the lower income class that is on the move you have to remember that Chinese have family networks hence money from relatives etc can be borrowed for purposes that have a mutual interest.

A lot of reports make the mistake of assuming if you earn 2000 to 3000 yuan a year hence that;s the only disposable income you would have access to. In fact that assumption is incorrect, it's common for family members to lend each other money particularly for start up business ventures , the more well off ones tend to help the less well off ones so poorer people have access to funds over and above their own . The whole thing is mutually self supporting. they tend to pool their financial resources when needed so sending somebody across the country for employment purposes even on HSR is well within their means.

I've seen so many people with little use a pool of family venture capital to go into the cities and make a good living. Poorer Chinese families tend to be venture capitalists starting small scale and moving upwards. They accumulate capital and then invest it.

.
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Old March 20th, 2014, 12:36 AM   #7733
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Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
Just a question - does this include private investment as well as government investment, or just government investment in infrastructure?
Both.

p. 74: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...,d.bGE&cad=rja
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Old March 20th, 2014, 01:11 AM   #7734
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Not Sure but it's not much difference.
Turns out it is.
Because 5th of April is Qingming Holiday. 5th to 7th are days off.

Regarding the migrant workers who only go home twice a year: presumably these are New Year and National Day, each 7 days off?

But there are other holidays: as mentioned, Qingming has 3 days off and surely it is important to go home to sweep tombs? Besides, few migrant workers would bury their family members in the cities where they illegally live, so they do not have tombs to sweep unless they go home... but they only get 3 days off. So if they spend 1 day going home and 1 day returning to work by a slow train or bus, they have only 1 day left to sweep tombs, meet their relatives and friends and borrow money from them.

The other 3 day holidays are May Day, Dragon Boat Festival and Mid-Autumn Day.

Chinese, even illegal immigrant workers, are getting richer. If a convenient and affordable HSR network is built, could the migrant workers start going home 6 times a year, each holiday, not just the 2 golden weeks?

If a Chinese could only afford to pay HSR ticket for 1 of the 4 3-day holidays, which is the most preferrable third holiday of the year? (Remember that the golden weeks are long enough to take the time for slow train or bus - 3-day holidays are not, so you need to pay for HSR or stay at work).

Which is the peak day for the homeward travel to sweep tombs?

And so, during the Qingming Holiday travel rush, will Nanning-Wuzhou high speed railway be open for scheduled service?
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Old March 20th, 2014, 01:29 AM   #7735
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I would believe you if there was at least one failed HS line in the Western Hemisphere, but there isn't so it's all just speculation on paper...
If we define failure for HSR as operating at a financial loss for their entire lifetime, then we're looking at a number of lines in the UK and Spain.

If we define failure for HSR as costing more than the overall economic benefit it delivers, again we have a few in the UK and Spain.

==

In the case of the UK, construction costs are so high that they can't hope to recoup the initial investment.

In the case of Spain, they overbuilt and have some lines where there simply isn't enough passenger traffic and economic benefit to recoup the initial investment.

EDIT

The new Dutch line looks like a disaster as well.

Last edited by Restless; March 20th, 2014 at 01:34 AM.
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Old March 20th, 2014, 03:25 AM   #7736
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The Dutch line is a blessing as it now just takes slightly over 3 hours to get from Amsterdam to Paris.

That it's horribly mismanaged and underused has different reasons, but is not because of lack of demand or potential passengers.
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Old March 20th, 2014, 05:59 AM   #7737
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The big advantage that China has is the single market. Railway is a network industry, natural monopoly, needs to be regulated and well managed in order to show efficient results. It is also a sector that produces large external benefits to the economy, trying to internalize them all is never going to work out. European market is carved up, divided by the national and economic borders, and hampered by the "liberalizing regulation".

It would be in fact quite interesting to have a look on the economic data of the Chinese railways. I.e. the China Railway Corporation and its efficiency. Albeit a complete monopoly I would say that it will show up much more efficient than the European "liberalized" railway market...
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Old March 20th, 2014, 08:58 AM   #7738
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Originally Posted by Restless View Post
If we define failure for HSR as operating at a financial loss for their entire lifetime, then we're looking at a number of lines in the UK and Spain.

If we define failure for HSR as costing more than the overall economic benefit it delivers, again we have a few in the UK and Spain.

==

In the case of the UK, construction costs are so high that they can't hope to recoup the initial investment.

In the case of Spain, they overbuilt and have some lines where there simply isn't enough passenger traffic and economic benefit to recoup the initial investment.

First of all we were both talking about North/South America and their non existing HS lines. In UK there are no newly built HS lines except for the one to Channel tunnel and surely that one is profitable. In Spain, maybe you'll be right about one of the unfinished lines going to less populated corners (Galicia) but the ones already in operation connect major population centres (Madrid with Barcelona, Seville, Malaga and Valencia) and are almost certainly operationally profitable. It's toll roads parallel to free highways they have overbuilt not railways.

And lastly as unsuccessful I meant not so much in financial sense as in poorly used and not attracting much passengers from other modes of transportation. I don't think there are such examples anywhere.
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Old March 20th, 2014, 09:31 AM   #7739
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Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
[...] Chinese, even illegal immigrant workers, are getting richer. [...]
Could you clarify, how one can become an illegal immigrant worker in one's own country?
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Old March 20th, 2014, 11:41 AM   #7740
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Could you clarify, how one can become an illegal immigrant worker in one's own country?
Easily, and in a significant sense. People´s Republic of China does NOT have a free movement of labour.

It is true that, since 2003, people are not arrested and forcibly returned home (or beaten to death, like Sun Zhigang) for the mere fact of being found outside of their hukou residence. But neither are they legal migrants!

Legal migrants exist - it is possible to get hukou of a new place. Shenzhen had 300 000 inhabitants in 1979, so probably under 400 000 natives (people who lived in Shenzhen back in 1979, and their descendants), yet 3 million legal residents with Shenzhen hukou. So most Shenzhen citizens, over 2,5 millions, are legal immigrants (or their descendants).
And yet, only 3 million of the 10 million residents of Shenzhen have Shenzhen hukou. The rest, over 7 millions, are illegal immigrants.

A person away from the place where he or she has hukou is not entitled to a lot of services! Cannot get unemployment benefits - if he does lose his job and runs out of money then he is sent home by police, though usually not beaten to death - cannot get medical care, cannot educate his children.

China habitually hunts down and forcibly shuts down private schools founded to educate illegal immigrant children. Which is why large numbers of children are left behind at home with grandparents attending school, while parents go to city for work.

And that´s a strong incentive to go home as often as possible.

The legal position of these workers without hukou is in a very significant way that of "illegal immigrant". True, not exactly - like they are not arrested randomly merely for being found. But their ineligibility to social benefits, whether without hukou or by asking and getting the hukou, means that it is important to distinguish them from legal migrants who do get hukou.

And "illegal immigrant" is in a significant sense applicable to that position.

Now, back to the implications.

If migrant workers came as legal migrants, entitled to iron rice bowl, social benefits in case of unemployment, medical care in illness and putting their children to the city schools, then they could more easily settle down in cities where they find employment, and lose contact with their places of origin.

They are by force of law and public policy prevented from settling in the cities. 18 % of all Chinese are illegal immigrants, whereas the total of bourgeois, including the legal immigrants, is 36 %.

This policy of forcibly preventing them from settling gives them a big incentive to keep contact with their place of hukou. An incentive which does not apply in other countries that do have free movement of labour and where migrant workers can get the same social benefits in cities as they did or would get back home.
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