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Old January 11th, 2017, 09:42 AM   #11221
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What is the actual end to end distance, like Changsha-Zhuzhou?
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Old January 11th, 2017, 11:07 AM   #11222
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The Guangyuan - Minxian section of the Chongqing to Lanzhou high speed railway has opened as of last month.

As for high speed railways under construction, there is an undocumented project that I have not seen published or reported on anywhere. It is an extension of the Emei Shan branchline that runs south into the mountains. I know it exists simply because I have been to the construction site just south of Ebian, Sichuan where they were blasting a tunnel under a friend's village during August 2016. It is a CRH line but I have no idea about the extent of the project. My friend's family could not tell me anything except for what was happening locally.

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Old January 12th, 2017, 11:49 PM   #11223
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The Guangyuan - Minxian section of the Chongqing to Lanzhou high speed railway has opened as of last month.
I noticed Xinhua News photos about this showing happy travellers getting into green and yellow coaches at Longnan

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As for high speed railways under construction, there is an undocumented project that I have not seen published or reported on anywhere. It is an extension of the Emei Shan branchline that runs south into the mountains. I know it exists simply because I have been to the construction site just south of Ebian, Sichuan where they were blasting a tunnel under a friend's village during August 2016. It is a CRH line but I have no idea about the extent of the project. My friend's family could not tell me anything except for what was happening locally.
In November 2014 I followed most of the ChengKun line by bicycle. I saw piers for a HSR bridge across a small valley with a split of the lines at the northwest outskirts of Miyi, between Xichang - Panzhihua. I looked hard but did not see any other signs of HSR south of Emei. So it sounds like a low priority project at least from Chengdu to Panzhihua, the junction probably at Leshan. All mainline regular trains from Kunming to Guangtong had by then (Nov. 2014) switched to a new upgraded route, difficult to tell with so much of it inside mountains whether it's HSR-200km/hr or one of the Normal-160km/hr lines.

The latest "official" news I have is from 2012 that the ChengKun HSR would go straight down the middle. Maybe there's a strategic reason for going to Panzhihua, then turning right up onto the Tibetan plateau.

I can't get the pic to link but it's the top one on this page https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/...page_id=398124
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Old January 13th, 2017, 12:33 PM   #11224
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I noticed Xinhua News photos about this showing happy travellers getting into green and yellow coaches at Longnan



In November 2014 I followed most of the ChengKun line by bicycle. I saw piers for a HSR bridge across a small valley with a split of the lines at the northwest outskirts of Miyi, between Xichang - Panzhihua. I looked hard but did not see any other signs of HSR south of Emei. So it sounds like a low priority project at least from Chengdu to Panzhihua, the junction probably at Leshan. All mainline regular trains from Kunming to Guangtong had by then (Nov. 2014) switched to a new upgraded route, difficult to tell with so much of it inside mountains whether it's HSR-200km/hr or one of the Normal-160km/hr lines.

The latest "official" news I have is from 2012 that the ChengKun HSR would go straight down the middle. Maybe there's a strategic reason for going to Panzhihua, then turning right up onto the Tibetan plateau.

I can't get the pic to link but it's the top one on this page https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/...page_id=398124
I had made that same assumption, however with the Chengdu-Kunming Railway being such a famous and iconic line, I would have imagined a high-speed duplication to have some more prestige and promotion as a project. I can see how minor high speed lines within or near a major city could be constructed with little fanfare as a local commuter project. However this project is a major undertaking, running through some extreme mountainous terrain.

The new high speed line is being built north-south through Ebian, while the Chengdu-Kunming Railway travels east-west along the river. To the north, it will connect to the Emei Shan branch, but I have no idea where it expected to go heading south.
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Old January 13th, 2017, 04:08 PM   #11225
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Wuhan High speed train Yard.Taken on Jan 13









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Old January 14th, 2017, 03:06 AM   #11226
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The lure of speed - China has built the world’s largest bullet-train network

Interesting article from the Economist about the massive rewards and challenges that China has gained from HSR

economist.com/news/china/21714383-and-theres-lot-more-come-it-waste-money-china-has-built-worlds-largest

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The lure of speed
China has built the world’s largest bullet-train network
And there’s a lot more to come. But is it a waste of money?
Jan 14th 2017 | SUZHOU, ANHUI PROVINCE

“THESE are fields of hope,” says Gu Zhen’an, gesturing at a barren scene. A burly chain-smoker, he spent 25 years overseeing road-building crews in central China. But three years ago, when he finished paving a highway to a new high-speed railway station in this quiet corner of Anhui province, he decided it was time to switch industries. The land still looks empty, served by first-rate infrastructure but home to few people and fewer businesses. Mr Gu, however, sees things differently: he expects a city to sprout up around the train station. In anticipation, he has built an old-age home, with plans to expand it into a complex for 5,000 people.

To appreciate the extent of China’s high-speed rail ambitions, take Mr Gu’s dreams and multiply them many times over. Less than a decade ago China had yet to connect any of its cities by bullet train. Today, it has 20,000km (12,500 miles) of high-speed rail lines, more than the rest of the world combined. It is planning to lay another 15,000km by 2025 (see map). Just as astonishing is urban growth alongside the tracks. At regular intervals—almost wherever there are stations, even if seemingly in the middle of nowhere—thickets of newly built offices and residential blocks rise from the ground.

China’s planners hope these will be like the railway towns that sprouted (at a slower pace) in America and Britain in the 19th century. In their rush to build, waste is inevitable. The question is whether gains will outweigh losses. Five years after the busiest bullet trains started running (the Beijing-Shanghai line opened in 2011), a tentative verdict is possible. In the densest parts of China, high-speed rail has been a boon: it is helping to create a deeply connected economy. But further inland, risks are mounting of excessive investment.

In China’s three big population centres—the areas around Beijing in the north, Shanghai in the east and Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, in the south—life and work have started to follow the sinews of the high-speed rail system. Trains were previously too infrequent, too slow and too crowded to allow for daily commutes. Now, each of these three mega-cities is developing commuter corridors.

Little wonder: house prices in satellite towns and cities tend to be much cheaper. In Kunshan, for example, homes cost about 70% less than in nearby Shanghai. But the bullet train between the two cities takes just 19 minutes and costs a mere 25 yuan ($3.60). And Kunshan is just one of many options for those seeking to escape Shanghai’s high costs. There are now about 75m people living within an hour of the city by high-speed rail.

Surveys show that more than half of passengers on the busiest lines are “generated traffic”—that is, people making trips that they would not have made before. This is unquestionably good for the economy. It means the trains are expanding the pool of labour and consumers around China’s most productive cities, while pushing investment and technology to poorer ones. Xu Xiangshang, a dapper businessman, oversees sales of apartments built next to high-speed railway stations in less well-off parts of Anhui. These are less than half an hour from Nanjing, a prosperous city of 8m that is the capital of Jiangsu province. “Bullet trains are becoming just like buses,” he says.

The economic benefits are hard to measure precisely. Traditional analyses focus on the financial performance of high-speed rail lines, plus indirect results such as reduced road congestion (see article). But bullet trains are more than just a mode of transport. China wants to build a “high-speed rail economy”. It is a twist on the theory of urban agglomeration—the idea that the bigger the city, the wealthier and more productive its people tend to be. The idea is to cap the size of mega-cities, but achieve the agglomeration effect with the help of bullet trains. China reckons that the resulting network of large, but not oversize, cities will be easier to manage. The World Bank, for one, is optimistic. In a report published in 2014 it said the benefits of high-speed rail would be “very substantial”, potentially boosting the productivity of businesses in China’s coastal regions by 10%.

Not all are aboard
But might regular, reliable, fast-enough trains around big cities have been almost as good as high-speed rail, at a fraction of the price? The OECD, a rich-country think-tank, reckons it costs 90% more to build lines for trains that reach 350kph than it does to lay ones that allow speeds of 250kph. For longer lines with more than 100m passengers a year and travel times of five hours or less—such as the one between Beijing and Shanghai—the more expensive type may be justifiable.

It is less so for journeys between commuter towns, during which trains only briefly accelerate to top speeds. For longer journeys serving sparse populations—a description that fits many of the lines in western and northern China—high-speed rail is prohibitively expensive.

The overall bill is already high. China Railway Corporation, the state-owned operator of the train system, has debts of more than 4trn yuan, equal to about 6% of GDP. Strains were evident last year when China Railway Materials, an equipment-maker, was forced to restructure part of its debts. Six lines have started to make operating profits (ie, not counting construction costs), with the Beijing-Shanghai link the world’s most profitable bullet train, pulling in 6.6bn yuan last year. But in less populated areas, they are making big losses. A state-run magazine said the line between Guangzhou and the province of Guizhou owes 3bn yuan per year in interest payments—three times more than it makes from ticket sales.

Many had thought China would rein in its ambitions after the fall of Liu Zhijun, a railway minister who was once revered as the father of the bullet-train system. In 2011 he was removed for corruption. Shortly after, a high-speed rail crash caused by a signalling failure killed 40 people. The mighty railway ministry was disbanded and folded into the transport ministry. China slowed its fastest trains down from a world-beating 350kph to a safer 300kph. The bullet trains have run with few glitches since the tragic crash.

But the network expansion now under way is even bolder than Mr Liu had envisaged. China has a four-by-four grid at present: four big north-south and east-west lines. Its new plan is to construct an eight-by-eight grid by 2035. The ultimate goal is to have 45,000km of high-speed track. Zhao Jian of Beijing Jiaotong University, who has long criticised the high-speed push, reckons that only 5,000km of this will be in areas with enough people to justify the cost. “With each new line, the losses will get bigger,” he says.

Making matters worse, China has often placed railway stations far from city centres. Bigger cities should eventually grow around their stations, but suburban locations will not produce the same economic dividends as central locations. In smaller cities, prospects are even bleaker. In Xiaogan in Hubei province, the station was built 100km from the city. The decision to base stations so far away reflects the realities of high-speed rail: for trains to run fast, tracks need to be straight. But that limits potential gains from lines as they traverse China. Wang Lan of Tongji University in Shanghai says the government should turn isolated stations into transportation hubs by adding new rail connections to other nearby places. That, though, would be another big expense.

Dangers are all too visible in the city of Suzhou in Anhui province (not to be confused with the successful example of Suzhou in Jiangsu). Its station is 45km from the city centre in the barren landscape where Mr Gu lives in hope. The government thought it would spark development. It paved eight-lane roads to serve a vast industrial park on one side of the station. Investors built clothing, food and pharmaceutical factories. But all are closed, except for a paper mill. Undeterred, the government is building a commercial district on the other side of the station.

Nearby, Mr Gu’s old-age home is off to a good start, with help from a local hospital. Down the road there is a drab collection of stores, restaurants and houses. This was meant to be the kernel of the new railway town: people were resettled here to make way for the tracks. Two older residents say they are sure that better days are just around the corner. They have heard that the government will move in 100,000 people from a part of western China plagued by landslides. Suzhou will provide the new arrivals with a place to live and they, in turn, will provide the town with the population it needs to thrive. But it is impossible to confirm the rumour—one more article of hope in what China likes to call its “high-speed rail dream”.
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Old January 14th, 2017, 04:19 AM   #11227
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Interesting article from the Economist about the massive rewards and challenges that China has gained from HSR

economist.com/news/china/21714383-and-theres-lot-more-come-it-waste-money-china-has-built-worlds-largest
This is an interesting article but I feel flawed. However given the short timespan, it is harsh to judge some parts of the high speed network as it does. This whole network is about a new way of thinking and development. I understand that there will be hits and misses too but it will take time for a whole new ecology to develop around the high speed network.

The Guangzhou-Guiyang HSR is three years younger than the Beijing-Shanghai HSR, so it should not be as developed or as profitable as the older project. Plus this line is only a short segment of a larger network connecting Chengdu, the whole of Sichuan and Chongqing with Guangzhou. It would be like trying to judge the older project just on the Nanjing-Shanghai segment.

To have not built a high speed rail network, the existing conventional rail would have not been able to cope. Many parts of it were already maxed out and not capable of handling increased services. Where as now, freight traffic can expand as fast passenger traffic is taken off the older network, plus has sped up other time sensitive services where freight trains can share the high speed network. This has enabled the economy to expand greatly in many areas, while it it is still early days yet for the whole network.

It has reduced a reliance on air travel across China where the airports could not have expanded at the same rate (to keep up with travel demand that the HSR has created) and airspace is heavily regulated and congested.

The other benefits to society has also seen the need to duplicate medical, educational and economic services in every third or fourth tier city. The pressure has been reduced as patients, students and business people can quickly and more easily access services in larger neighbouring cities. For example, expensive MRI machines are not needed to be provided in every hospital in order to receive first class modern medical care, taking pressure off the health budget, as patients from a satellite town can make a day visit to a larger city for their medical procedure.

While China has a quirky system of funding the railways through loans, rather than taxation, the question of how is China going to pay for this HSR network should be balanced with what is the cost if China had not build it. Economic stagnation and a reduction in the quality of life is my opinion.

It is still very early days, it remains to be seen how the ecology evolves in China around high speed rail over the next decade and beyond.
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Old January 14th, 2017, 11:50 AM   #11228
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Economist
It is planning to lay another 15,000km by 2025 (see map).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Economist
And Kunshan is just one of many options for those seeking to escape Shanghai’s high costs. There are now about 75m people living within an hour of the city by high-speed rail.
How many stations exist within an hour of Shanghai?
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Originally Posted by Economist
But might regular, reliable, fast-enough trains around big cities have been almost as good as high-speed rail, at a fraction of the price?
The OECD, a rich-country think-tank, reckons it costs 90% more to build lines for trains that reach 350kph than it does to lay ones that allow speeds of 250kph.
Emphatically agreed.
For the price of 15 000 km of 350 km/h lines, China might instead build 28 000 km 250 km/h lines.

And lines designed for 200 km/h or 160 km/h or 120 km/h would be even cheaper...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Economist
The decision to base stations so far away reflects the realities of high-speed rail: for trains to run fast, tracks need to be straight. But that limits potential gains from lines as they traverse China. Wang Lan of Tongji University in Shanghai says the government should turn isolated stations into transportation hubs by adding new rail connections to other nearby places. That, though, would be another big expense.
Agreed. For a price of 1000 km of 350 km/h line, China could build twice as much 250 km/h lines, with 4 times as many stations, and these closer to existing towns.
But another obvious suggestion: build high speed stations on existing slow speed lines!
Think of it. The high speed line needs to avoid detours, so it skips through the suburbs of existing cities.
But some slow speed railways exist through suburban landscape.
Therefore pick a point in generally empty countryside where a high speed line has to cross an existing slow speed line. And build there a station on both lines. And put frequent commuter trains on the old slow speed line, to connect the existing centre.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Short
The other benefits to society has also seen the need to duplicate medical, educational and economic services in every third or fourth tier city. The pressure has been reduced as patients, students and business people can quickly and more easily access services in larger neighbouring cities. For example, expensive MRI machines are not needed to be provided in every hospital in order to receive first class modern medical care, taking pressure off the health budget, as patients from a satellite town can make a day visit to a larger city for their medical procedure.
Meaning that people who are by definition sick already have to make their way from their homes, concentrated in central parts of a fourth tier city, to a remote station in the middle of nowhere, and then from the station also in the middle of nowhere to a hospital somewhere in the second tier city...
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Old January 14th, 2017, 11:59 AM   #11229
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Too many words, so we'll have to put some data:
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Old January 15th, 2017, 08:09 AM   #11230
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Originally Posted by YKC View Post
Interesting article from the Economist about the massive rewards and challenges that China has gained from HSR

economist.com/news/china/21714383-and-theres-lot-more-come-it-waste-money-china-has-built-worlds-largest
Speculative and with a touch of "the glass is half full" ranting. Economists are time challenged. Transport infrastructures have a lifespan of 25 -75 years. An honest economist's view about time ...



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Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
How many stations exist within an hour of Shanghai?

Emphatically agreed.
For the price of 15 000 km of 350 km/h lines, China might instead build 28 000 km 250 km/h lines.

And lines designed for 200 km/h or 160 km/h or 120 km/h would be even cheaper...


Agreed. For a price of 1000 km of 350 km/h line, China could build twice as much 250 km/h lines, with 4 times as many stations, and these closer to existing towns.
But another obvious suggestion: build high speed stations on existing slow speed lines!
Think of it. The high speed line needs to avoid detours, so it skips through the suburbs of existing cities.
But some slow speed railways exist through suburban landscape.
Therefore pick a point in generally empty countryside where a high speed line has to cross an existing slow speed line. And build there a station on both lines. And put frequent commuter trains on the old slow speed line, to connect the existing centre.

Meaning that people who are by definition sick already have to make their way from their homes, concentrated in central parts of a fourth tier city, to a remote station in the middle of nowhere, and then from the station also in the middle of nowhere to a hospital somewhere in the second tier city...

1- what will happen in 25 - 40 years?
2- ~ 250 km/h is for commuting and might not sell well for long distance travel
3- ~ 600 km/h may be the new "high speed" in the near future
4- traveling over long distances for various special services is to be expected
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Old January 15th, 2017, 10:22 AM   #11231
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Originally Posted by skyridgeline View Post
Speculative and with a touch of "the glass is half full" ranting. Economists are time challenged. Transport infrastructures have a lifespan of 25 -75 years. An honest economist's view about time ...

1- what will happen in 25 - 40 years?
What is China doing with 25-75 old infrastructure?
Kowloon-Canton railway was opened in 1910. It then had 3 stations in Hong Kong.
By 1956, there were 5 stations.
By 1980, the railway was 70 years old, single track and unelectrified.
In 1980s, Hong Kong double tracked the railway, electrified it - and also added 6 stations.
As a result, Hong Kong has a rapid, electrified commuter railway with 2 tracks, 12 or so stations in 36 km, frequent passenger service - and shared with long distance rail.
What has mainland done with their section of Kowloon-Canton railway? How many passenger stations operate between Guangzhou and Nangang? Shanghai and Anting?
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2- ~ 250 km/h is for commuting and might not sell well for long distance travel
No, it´s too fast. 160 km/h is better to keep people off buses and private cars on roads.
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Originally Posted by skyridgeline View Post
3- ~ 600 km/h may be the new "high speed" in the near future
Chuo Shinkansen, 505 km/h, is to open in 2027. What are Chinese building?
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyridgeline View Post
4- traveling over long distances for various special services is to be expected
Um, no. The alternative was building special services where people are, remember.
But the distance home to service includes not just the rapid trip station to station, but the long and slow trips both ends to the stations in the middle of nowhere.
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Old January 15th, 2017, 02:22 PM   #11232
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But the distance home to service includes not just the rapid trip station to station, but the long and slow trips both ends to the stations in the middle of nowhere.
Will the stations be in the middle of nowhere in 20-30 years when Chinas urban population is expected to increase by -according to some estimates - 400 million people?
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Old January 15th, 2017, 04:07 PM   #11233
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Will the stations be in the middle of nowhere in 20-30 years when Chinas urban population is expected to increase by -according to some estimates - 400 million people?
Maybe not. But then you have 700 million people in the old towns, left behind by high speed railway, and just 400 millions in the new towns built next to HSR stations.
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Old January 15th, 2017, 08:29 PM   #11234
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Hahahaa, even The Economist has to write something positive in their China High Speed Rail articles now! Even 2 years ago it was all gloom and doom, lol.
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Old January 15th, 2017, 08:36 PM   #11235
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Maybe not. But then you have 700 million people in the old towns, left behind by high speed railway, and just 400 millions in the new towns built next to HSR stations.
"By" not "to" 400 million. Chinese urban population is already way more than 400 million more like 700 million now. It is all connected with metro lines anyway, too.
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Old January 15th, 2017, 09:51 PM   #11236
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"By" not "to" 400 million. Chinese urban population is already way more than 400 million more like 700 million now. It is all connected with metro lines anyway, too.
Precisely - I quoted 700 million people to be left behind in old towns.

How many people now live in China in cities that don´t have metro?
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Old January 15th, 2017, 11:04 PM   #11237
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Vast majority, I'd guess but that's completely normal isn't it?
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Old January 15th, 2017, 11:39 PM   #11238
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Precisely - I quoted 700 million people to be left behind in old towns.

How many people now live in China in cities that don´t have metro?
Well intercity (actually regional) HSR lines and suburban metro lines will fill in the gap. Its better right now for China to build new corridors when acquiring property is still easy just like the US, Europe and Japan was back in the day. Upgrading the existing can be done when China develops more and greenfield subway and HSR costs get too high. A lot of the intercity lines are basically just paralleling the slow speed railways anyways.
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Old January 16th, 2017, 12:17 AM   #11239
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Vast majority, I'd guess but that's completely normal isn't it?
What isn´t normal is absence of functioning commuter rail network.

Japan has 9 cities with subways.
Japan also has 27 000 km of railways.
Tokyo metro has 304 km of lines and 274 stations.
Yet the metro stations make up just 274 out of 882 stations in Tokyo - meaning that Tokyo has over 600 non-metro rail stations.
How many non-metro rail stations are receiving passenger service in Shanghai? Beijing? Guangzhou?
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Old January 16th, 2017, 12:43 AM   #11240
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In large cities metro could conceivably replace suburban rail entirely. In any case the distinction between metro and suburban rail is a bit fuzzy. A more relevant question to ask is how many total rail (whatever kind) stations there are in Shanghai or Beijing. If the answer 500-600 then I see no problem.
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