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Old February 19th, 2011, 02:37 PM   #1781
WatcherZero
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An update on the suspension of the rail minister

Quote:
Bullet for minister who bungled China's high-speed railway surge
19 February 2011
By MICHAEL WINES

In HIS seven years as chief of the Chinese railways ministry, Liu Zhijun built a commercial and political colossus that spanned continents and elevated the lowly train to a national symbol of pride and technological prowess. His abrupt sacking by the Communist Party last weekend has cast that empire in a decidedly different light, raising doubts not only about Mr Liu's stewardship and the corruption that dogs China's vast public-works projects, but also, perhaps, the safety, financial soundness and long-term viability of a rail system that has captured the world's attention.

Mr Liu, 58, was fired last Saturday and is being investigated by the party's disciplinary committee for "severe violations of discipline," a euphemism for corruption. His high government rank - minister-level officials are rarely fired under such a cloud - hints at deeper dissatisfaction.

Until last week, Mr Liu had led China's project to lace the nation with nearly 8,100 miles of high-speed rail lines and to build more than 11,000 miles of traditional track. The sheer size and cost of the endeavour is staggering - the investment has been estimated at $750 billion.

There are some clues to his sacking in top officials' public statements since the scandal broke. Speaking on Monday in Beijing, the official who is believed to be the country's new railways chief, Sheng Guangzu, said the ministry would "place quality and safety at the centre of construction projects."

The statement underscored concerns in some quarters that Mr Liu cut corners in his push to extend the rail system and to keep the project on schedule and within budget.

A person with ties to the ministry said the concrete bases for the tracks were so cheaply made, with inadequate use of chemical hardening agents, that trains would be unable to maintain their current speeds of about 217mph for more than a few years. In as little as five years, lower speeds, possibly below about 186mph, could be required as the rails become less straight, the expert said.

Strong concrete pillars require a large dose of high-quality fly ash, the by-product of burning coal. But the speed of construction has far exceeded supply, according to a 2008 study.

Such problems, the expert said, are caused by a combination of tight controls that have kept China's costs far below western levels and a strong aversion to buying higher-quality but costlier equipment from abroad.

China's high-speed network has been built far more cheaply than similar projects in the West and in Japan. A mile of rail in China costs roughly $15 million; in the West, estimates peg the price at anywhere between $40 million to $80 million.

The timing of Mr Liu's firing may be significant. It came at the end of China's Lunar New Year holiday, when trains are jammed and passengers are angriest.

The Communist Party has long worried that corruption may undermine its credibility with the public. But high-level officials are seldom sacked for corruption alone.

Russell Leigh Moses, an expert on the Chinese leadership, said Mr Liu's dismissal could signal disquiet over whether expansion had gone too far, too fast.

"You don't take someone down at that level of status unless they've done something really egregious," said Mr Moses. "I don't know whether it's politics or policy. But I wouldn't rule out the second."

http://news.scotsman.com/topstories/...?articlepage=1
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Old February 20th, 2011, 07:11 PM   #1782
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An interesting video on YouTube:

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Old February 20th, 2011, 08:21 PM   #1783
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Beijing-Shanghai high speed railway starts test run......
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Old February 20th, 2011, 09:52 PM   #1784
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Beijing-Shanghai high speed railway starts test run......
Wonder if they'll try to break France's record. They don't have much time if they want it to open in June.
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Old February 21st, 2011, 02:36 AM   #1785
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A person with ties to the ministry said the concrete bases for the tracks were so cheaply made, with inadequate use of chemical hardening agents, that trains would be unable to maintain their current speeds of about 217mph for more than a few years. In as little as five years, lower speeds, possibly below about 186mph, could be required as the rails become less straight, the expert said.

Strong concrete pillars require a large dose of high-quality fly ash, the by-product of burning coal. But the speed of construction has far exceeded supply, according to a 2008 study.
Why would concrete sleepers need 'chemical hardening agent’? Chemical additives are added in the concrete mix to achieve early strength, to have stronger concrete , to increase slower concrete setting / hardening time, to add workability (flowability) etc., depending on the design and construction requirements. The chances of team of talented engineers and researches from China or any engineer for that matter overlooking such a basic requirement is just NIL.

It is also pure nonsense to say that high quality fly-ash is required for the pier. Whether higher strength is required also depends on design requirements. Fly-ash is certainly not the only additives that can be used to increase concrete strength.

It is not unusual to have different opinions in discussion on any technical fields. However, the journalist is just out of depth and context when discussing technical matters.

This is not the first and will not be the last of such articles coming from the British (or Anglo) media trying to 'embarass' China, whether it is the high speed railway, the 3 gorges dams, urbanisation issues etc.
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Old February 21st, 2011, 03:23 AM   #1786
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This is not the first and will not be the last of such articles coming from the British (or Anglo) media trying to 'embarass' China, whether it is the high speed railway, the 3 gorges dams, urbanisation issues etc.
Ah yes, the old "everybody is out to get poor little china" argument.

Let's try to keep politics out of this, and focus on the possible need for fly ash to create long lasting concrete structures for HSR.
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Old February 21st, 2011, 03:47 AM   #1787
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It is not about poor little China, about about British media disinformation on China.

Why is only fly-ash the only substance that must be used for longer lasting concrete structure? There are so many factors to considers for concrete structures to achieve the design life span, whether in HSR , buildings, bridges, dam s etc. And the Chinese have considerable experiences with large structures, and given the dedications and talents of the engineering staffs involved, you think they would be really that incompetence overlook such basic matter.
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Old February 21st, 2011, 03:58 AM   #1788
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Originally Posted by chewys View Post
It is not about poor little China, about about British media disinformation on China.

Why is only fly-ash the only substance that must be used for longer lasting concrete structure? There are so many factors to considers for concrete structures to achieve the design life span, whether in HSR , buildings, bridges, dam s etc. And the Chinese have considerable experiences with large structures, and given the dedications and talents of the engineering staffs involved, you think they would be really that incompetence overlook such basic matter.
Buildings around the world have collapsed before, despite experience, dedication, talent or competence.

There can be numerous reasons for constructions to fail. Be it simply overlooking something, corruption, etc.
To ignore these possibilities because you think it shows bias, is unfair or unpatriotic, is just ignorant.
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Old February 21st, 2011, 04:23 AM   #1789
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Sure, buildings collapse can happen antwhere in the world. That's given. But what are the reasons for the collapse?

Making unsubstantianted statement based on illlogical reasoning is far from being helpful. It tells us more about the 'ill wishes' coming from such people, rather of being helpful.

You have not answered the simple question as to why fly-ash is the only materail can be used in this instant.
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Old February 21st, 2011, 07:41 AM   #1790
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly_Walks View Post
Buildings around the world have collapsed before, despite experience, dedication, talent or competence.

There can be numerous reasons for constructions to fail. Be it simply overlooking something, corruption, etc.
To ignore these possibilities because you think it shows bias, is unfair or unpatriotic, is just ignorant.
I think you need to accept there is a bias in British media against China tough...

Anyhow.. most of the discussion about this matter is null... time will tell whether this network has been built in high quality or not...
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Old February 21st, 2011, 11:12 AM   #1791
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Quote:
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I think you need to accept there is a bias in British media against China tough...
No there isn't, British journalists are equally ignorant of all countries.
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Old February 21st, 2011, 03:40 PM   #1792
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Bullet train testing set to begin on Beijing link
21 February 2011
Shanghai Daily

China's high-speed railway development took another stride forward yesterday with the power being switched on in Shanghai and nearby cities to enable test runs on the Shanghai-Beijing high-speed rail link to start.

The line will be fully tested from March 20 when bullet trains traveling at more than 400 kilometers per hour will make the trip to iron out any problems and make adjustments before the new line opens to the public on June 20.

The trains will run between Shanghai's Hongqiao Railway Station and Beijing's South Railway Station during the tests, the national railway authority said yesterday.

The 1,318-kilometer link will cut the journey between Shanghai and the capital to less than five hours from the current 10 to 18 hours.

The line, which runs through Tianjin Municipality and Hebei, Shandong, Anhui and Jiangsu provinces, will also increase capacity in the northern, eastern and middle regions of the country.

There will be 24 stops on the route including regional transport hubs such as Bengbu Station in Anhui Province and Xuzhou in Jiangsu Province.

There will be some non-stop shuttles between Shanghai and Beijing in the future and the railway authority also plans to launch direct trains between Shanghai and other major cities along the way, including Tianjin, Jinan and Nanjing.

The power grid to facilitate the train operation in Shanghai and nearby cities was switched on yesterday, the authority said, and warning signs and posters have been erected along the route. The grid will be carrying 27,500 volts of electricity and people have been warned not to get near the power supply facilities. Balloon and kite flying is also prohibited in an area 300 meters from the tracks.

The new line is designed with a travel speed of 350kph and above. A train reached 486.1kph during a previous test on a stretch between Shandong and Anhui provinces, the railway authority said.

It is not yet known how much tickets will cost. Flights between Shanghai and Beijing cost around 1,200 yuan at present with a journey time of 1.5 hours.

The Shanghai-Beijing bullet train project is said to have cost 220.9 billion yuan (US$33.6 billion), the highest expenditure on a national infrastructure project to date.

Liu Zhijun, a leading initiator of high-speed railway expansion, was removed from his post as railways minister earlier this month in connection with a probe into suspected corruption. Liu said last month that another 700 billion yuan would be invested in construction this year to build more high-speed links and improve facilities.

The railway ministry said it was to boost capacity on the Shanghai-Nanjing and Shanghai-Hangzhou high-speed rail lines to make travel to the city's two neighboring provinces easier. There will be an increase in the number of train services from beginning of next month and the extra trains will stop at Changzhou and Wuxi in Jiangsu Province, as well as Haining and Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province.
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Old February 21st, 2011, 04:26 PM   #1793
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chewys View Post
Sure, buildings collapse can happen antwhere in the world. That's given. But what are the reasons for the collapse?

Making unsubstantianted statement based on illlogical reasoning is far from being helpful. It tells us more about the 'ill wishes' coming from such people, rather of being helpful.
So people trying to prevent possible collapses, are wishing ill?

Wow.
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Old February 21st, 2011, 04:48 PM   #1794
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly_Walks View Post
So people trying to prevent possible collapses, are wishing ill?

Wow.
have to admit there are sick minds wishing ill, such as jerks saying earthquake was a karma or punishment.

as for the project quality issues, it depends. if you have evidence and are worried about its safety then you are justified to raise the issue, just like the old engineer questioning the safety of a Guangzhou metro project. but there are many bastards who simply 'believe' or hope accidents will happen. want an example? check for epoch times.

'you are going to die eventually', that is a fact. 'you are going to die in a terrible car accident tomorrow', that is a curse.
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 12:42 AM   #1795
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I guess it must be a raw issue after the schools collapse fiasco.
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 01:15 AM   #1796
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I guess it must be a raw issue after the schools collapse fiasco.
Even Hong Kong, which certainly has experience, dedication, talent and competence, had concrete issues with their West Line.

If it can happen there, AND there are reasons to believe too little fly ash was used, it's just sticking your head in the sand to ignore it and blame whatever kind of bias.

Take the warning to heart, investigate it, learn from it, move on. Don't start bringing nationalistic motives into a conversation where it has no place.
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 10:07 AM   #1797
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Originally Posted by makita09 View Post
No there isn't, British journalists are equally ignorant of all countries.
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 10:30 AM   #1798
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Bullet train testing set to begin on Beijing link
21 February 2011
Shanghai Daily
There will be some non-stop shuttles between Shanghai and Beijing in the future and the railway authority also plans to launch direct trains between Shanghai and other major cities along the way, including Tianjin, Jinan and Nanjing.
The railway ministry said it was to boost capacity on the Shanghai-Nanjing and Shanghai-Hangzhou high-speed rail lines to make travel to the city's two neighboring provinces easier. There will be an increase in the number of train services from beginning of next month and the extra trains will stop at Changzhou and Wuxi in Jiangsu Province, as well as Haining and Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province.
How many trains daily now travel Shanghai-Nanjing on the Shanghai-Nanjing high speed line with these 2 stops?
How many are nonstop trains, and how many make all (about 30) stops on the high speed railway?
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 03:19 PM   #1799
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http://www.gov.cn/jrzg/2011-02/22/content_1808131.htm

The CRH trains have transported 600 million passengers since April 18, 2007, with average daily ridership of 237 thousand in 2007, 349 thousands in 2008, 492 thousands in 2009, and 796 thousands in 2010.
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Old February 24th, 2011, 08:38 AM   #1800
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I like this Video. Nice view.

Wuhan-Guangzhou line

part1
http://v.youku.com/v_playlist/f5124342o1p1.html

part2
http://v.youku.com/v_playlist/f5124342o1p0.html
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