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Old June 1st, 2014, 09:58 PM   #8081
Sunfuns
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Who cares how much per square kilometre? Gobi desert doesn't need a dense railway network.

In case of passenger lines more relevant would be to look at what percentage of sizeable (let's say above 50,000 inhabitants) municipalities are connected to the national rail network.
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Old June 1st, 2014, 11:38 PM   #8082
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunfuns View Post
Who cares how much per square kilometre? Gobi desert doesn't need a dense railway network.

In case of passenger lines more relevant would be to look at what percentage of sizeable (let's say above 50,000 inhabitants) municipalities are connected to the national rail network.
Gobi desert does not need a dense network, but China Proper does.

How many stations does China have that actually have passenger train service?
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Old June 2nd, 2014, 04:30 AM   #8083
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxmulder View Post
Which is an absurd attempt of "comparison".
Measuring things by area, that is by density, is not "absurd", but I agree with you that it is not that useful for rail, where you would care more of from where and to where and overall quality rather than how much of it it is.

Density maps are good visualisation tools. Here's a GDP density map (GDP per area). It's an old map from 2006. Today China would be significantly more dense.



A simple way to visualise rail density would simply be to draw rail lines on a map, like this one (fairly recent, around 2010 IIRC):


That fits in well with my memory that the Czech Republic had the most dense rail network in the world. Most of the rails were useless, and when a flood came they didn't bother to rebuild some of the lost ones.
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Old June 2nd, 2014, 05:26 AM   #8084
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Originally Posted by foxmulder View Post
Did anyone see this? "Over 600km/h" part is not true, right? Or it is an accidental leak of the private tests?
Didn't we have this discussion a few months back?
It's a static test bed where the drive system is tested against a rolling wheel as as a load. At that time the alleged "speed" IIRC was 598km/h, so going "over 600km/h" wouldn't be much of an improvement.
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Old June 2nd, 2014, 05:35 AM   #8085
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Minjiang bridge at Fuzhou

A quick snap I took a week or so back, Train Nr D3118 from 厦门北 Xiàmén North to 南京南 Nánjīng South supposedly left 福州南 Fúzhōu South at 9.02am and crosses the Mǐnjiāng bridge, but my phone gets regular network time updates and reckons the pic was taken at 09h07'20"


Last edited by xinxingren; June 2nd, 2014 at 06:47 AM.
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Old June 2nd, 2014, 05:39 AM   #8086
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Quote:
Originally Posted by :jax: View Post
...fairly recent, around 2010 IIRC...
"fairly wrong" you mean? That map is extremely false. Almost for all countries.
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Old June 2nd, 2014, 05:40 AM   #8087
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xinxingren View Post
Didn't we have this discussion a few months back?
It's a static test bed where the drive system is tested against a rolling wheel as as a load. At that time the alleged "speed" IIRC was 598km/h, so going "over 600km/h" wouldn't be much of an improvement.
Possibly.
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Old June 2nd, 2014, 07:32 AM   #8088
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According to that funny map, Germany is all steel and Cuba is a global railway hub.
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Old June 2nd, 2014, 09:23 AM   #8089
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxmulder View Post
"fairly wrong" you mean? That map is extremely false. Almost for all countries.
Here is the research project in question, from 2010, and the sources they used. The sources seem quite reliable and complete, but also very old (1997). That would affect areas with big changes in the network (construction or decommission) the last fifteen years. Statistical data about railroad density will likely use sources like these.

Cuba has 11.968 km of rail network, very impressive for such a small island, however about 2/3 of the tracks is used by sugar plantations.

Which nicely illustrated my argument for why rail density isn't a very useful metric. There is a difference between the HSR between Shanghai and Beijing, and rural tracks in Cuba used by sugar plantations presumably to move produce come harvest season.

Beating countries with a high rail density shouldn't be the goal to get a good system. Other metrics, e.g. passenger km per capita, sounds immediately better, but that too doesn't really capture what separates an economically and socially useful network from a poor one.
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Old June 2nd, 2014, 09:33 AM   #8090
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According to this list http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...t_network_size
China is
Nb. 3 by total length
Nb. 75 by area/km (of railway)
Nb. 98 by population/km
of 152 countries listed
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Old June 2nd, 2014, 09:42 AM   #8091
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Quote:
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Here is the research project in question, from 2010, and the sources they used. The sources seem quite reliable and complete, but also very old (1997). ...
Here you go .. 1997 then not 2010, the first thing I noticed on that map that Qinghai–Tibet Railway only goes to Golmund, the section which was opened 1984, and the Lhasa section was opened in 2006, but not on the map
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Old June 2nd, 2014, 09:46 AM   #8092
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Quote:
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but that too doesn't really capture what separates an economically and socially useful network from a poor one.
...for whom? That's the question. Couldn't one argue that those RRs carrying sugar cane to a factory for processing or to a port for export are just as economically important as a HSR, PDL (just not as shiny)
Now, if we were talking about avg. speed per km of track, modal share, etc (for freight - goods - and passengers), then maybe we would be closer to capturing some of the economic benefits, though not all, right?

A country could have one, 1,700 km PDL that runs at an avg speed of 380kph, but if that's out of a total of 18,000km (mixed freight and passenger, running at an avg speed of 90kph) and only 0.X% of passengers and goods make use of that HSR line (i.e. it provides a small time savings), it's not really as large an economic boost as it may seem on paper (i.e. "We have the fastest PDL in the world!")
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Old June 2nd, 2014, 09:53 AM   #8093
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
Yes, but China also has less railways on area basis than Japan.
Japan has excessively large amounts of redundant railway capacity. There is not enough population to justify.
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Old June 2nd, 2014, 10:02 AM   #8094
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Originally Posted by maldini View Post
Japan has excessively large amounts of redundant railway capacity. There is not enough population to justify.
Um. Japan has less railways than Italy, Mexico, France, Argentina, Australia, Germany or Canada, all of which have less population.
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Old June 2nd, 2014, 11:07 AM   #8095
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockAss View Post
Here you go .. 1997 then not 2010, the first thing I noticed on that map that Qinghai–Tibet Railway only goes to Golmund, the section which was opened 1984, and the Lhasa section was opened in 2006, but not on the map
The project was published in 2010, actually 2009 I discovered, the data set is much older. (I don't know when the project actually began.) It could conceivably matter for this project, which mapped remoteness (as in time it takes to a city of 50,000+ inhabitants), and a place in Tibet was claimed to be the most remote (populated) part of the planet. Even so, I don't think it really mattered much, as somewhat remote places in Tibet may be much less remote today, but really remote places are still really remote places. "Most remote place on the planet a decade ago" would likely get less attention.



The simplifications they used for rail didn't make that component very realistic, and a bigger problem than an old data set, namely that a rail line is something you move with a speed of 40 km/hour but with 0 waiting time and connecting time. It doesn't matter for connected places, but it would make remote places seem less remote. I see this map mostly as a proof of concept, and a fairly interesting concept at that.

For my purpose (an example of a rail density map) the age of the data set doesn't matter. Graphs, maps, tables, and the like spread on the internet tend to be a little old. In part because they were usually published years ago, and in part because the latest reliable data sources tend to be a few years old (though 10-12 years, as in this case, was on the slow end).
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Old June 2nd, 2014, 11:11 AM   #8096
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Quote:
Originally Posted by :jax: View Post
The simplifications they used for rail didn't make that component very realistic, and a bigger problem than an old data set, namely that a rail line is something you move with a speed of 40 km/hour but with 0 waiting time and connecting time. It doesn't matter for connected places, but it would make remote places seem less remote.
Also, does it consider where the stations are?
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Old June 2nd, 2014, 11:32 AM   #8097
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenixboi08 View Post
...for whom? That's the question. Couldn't one argue that those RRs carrying sugar cane to a factory for processing or to a port for export are just as economically important as a HSR, PDL (just not as shiny)
Now, if we were talking about avg. speed per km of track, modal share, etc (for freight - goods - and passengers), then maybe we would be closer to capturing some of the economic benefits, though not all, right?

A country could have one, 1,700 km PDL that runs at an avg speed of 380kph, but if that's out of a total of 18,000km (mixed freight and passenger, running at an avg speed of 90kph) and only 0.X% of passengers and goods make use of that HSR line (i.e. it provides a small time savings), it's not really as large an economic boost as it may seem on paper (i.e. "We have the fastest PDL in the world!")
A rail line that is heavily used (whether for people or cargo) has a higher utility than one used once a year. "Heavily used" is fairly easy to find metrics for, different ones will give somewhat different results.

If you measure use in weight transported a coal train would be massively more valuable than a high-speed train transporting medical products, even though the latter might have vastly higher economic value.

When there is another about as good transport, the incremental value of rail can be small. If around a city there are suburban trains and suburban buses with roughly the same quality, if there hadn't been trains there would just have been more buses. The alternative to HSR Shanghai-Beijing is air transport, both have travel time around 5 hours and a cost around 700. For e.g. Nanjing-Shanghai there would be no equivalent alternatives.

Likewise there were and are alternatives to the Channel Tunnel, e.g. flights London-Paris, but the link matters to connect Britain to the continent. In the case of a smaller project like the link between Copenhagen, Denmark and Malmö, Sweden, there is now transport where there was none. The link helps the two regions in different countries integrate (though somewhat held back by the high toll costs). The boost to the economy is significant.
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Old June 2nd, 2014, 11:33 AM   #8098
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High speed trains racing between class D and class G train

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Old June 2nd, 2014, 02:12 PM   #8099
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxmulder View Post
Which is an absurd attempt of "comparison".
I wasn't comparing, just explaining that he misunderstood what he was responding to.
No one was comparing actually, so you are the one being absurd here.
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Old June 2nd, 2014, 02:15 PM   #8100
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Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
Um. Japan has less railways than Italy, Mexico, France, Argentina, Australia, Germany or Canada, all of which have less population.
Yes, but look at the map. Japan's geography is very different and challenging.
And most of the countries you mentioned are geographically bigger than Japan.
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