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Old March 29th, 2011, 08:41 AM   #1921
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fragel View Post
Plus reports are saying some senior train dispatchers are currently being trained to cope with 380 km/h on Beijing-Shanghai HSR, is it sorta confirmation that MOR is still gonna go with top speed of 380 km/h?
Did tests of the train start on 20th instant?
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Old March 30th, 2011, 07:30 AM   #1922
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Originally Posted by hmmwv View Post
This is the CRH6 Great Wall, it's a 160km/h diesel NDJ3 pulled train. Just a New Dawn with an updated shell. I don't think it's considered HSR.

woww !!! so nice train.
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Old March 30th, 2011, 08:33 AM   #1923
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
Did tests of the train start on 20th instant?
what tests are you referring to? Beijing-Dezhou section test?
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Old March 30th, 2011, 11:06 AM   #1924
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These tests:

Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
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.
Incidentally, are the added rail services Shanghai-Nanjing and Shanghai-Hangzhou running now?
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Old March 30th, 2011, 08:28 PM   #1925
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Test on the Beijing-Dezhou section was conducted on March 21st. test speed was limited to 260 km/h though.

the test train went through Tianjin:

http://news.163.com/11/0321/18/6VMKFPVU00014AED.html
Quote:
新型和谐号动车组穿越天津试跑京沪高铁(图)
2011-03-21 18:27:00 来源: 天津网(天津) 

  天津网讯 天津日报视觉中心记者 杜建雄 即时播报

  今天(21日),新型和谐号动车组试验车开始在京沪高铁北京至德州段进行提速试跑,今年6月将全线投入运营,届时,北京至上海仅需4小时。

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Old March 30th, 2011, 08:49 PM   #1926
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200 people took a test ride on a CRH380A from Xuzhou to Bengbu on the Beijing-Shanghai HSR on March 25th. The max speed during the test is 350 km/h, and it took 30 mins to cover the 155 km distance.

http://www.china.com.cn/travel/txt/2...t_22231557.htm



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Old March 30th, 2011, 09:01 PM   #1927
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CRH has been under attack for pure political purposes since Liu Zhijun was detained, the media are busy criticizing high speed railways and railway construction scandals. Beijing-Shanghai HSR is picked as a bad example in this case. and the new MoR has publicly shown his little knowledge and interest in HSR. I won't expect to see any exciting news about it. Actually I would lower my expectation so that I won't be disappointed to see the max operating speed cut down to 350 km/h or even lower on Beijing-Shanghai HSR when it opens.
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 07:29 AM   #1928
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fragel View Post
CRH has been under attack for pure political purposes since Liu Zhijun was detained, the media are busy criticizing high speed railways and railway construction scandals. Beijing-Shanghai HSR is picked as a bad example in this case. and the new MoR has publicly shown his little knowledge and interest in HSR. I won't expect to see any exciting news about it. Actually I would lower my expectation so that I won't be disappointed to see the max operating speed cut down to 350 km/h or even lower on Beijing-Shanghai HSR when it opens.
Well, it is not that important. Unless projects are stopped during construction the network is almost done anyway...
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 03:26 PM   #1929
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fragel View Post
CRH has been under attack for pure political purposes since Liu Zhijun was detained, the media are busy criticizing high speed railways and railway construction scandals. Beijing-Shanghai HSR is picked as a bad example in this case. and the new MoR has publicly shown his little knowledge and interest in HSR. I won't expect to see any exciting news about it. Actually I would lower my expectation so that I won't be disappointed to see the max operating speed cut down to 350 km/h or even lower on Beijing-Shanghai HSR when it opens.
And it will be quite relevant. Because the usefulness of a train compared to a plane is quite different between a 4 hour trip and a 5 hour trip. Ticket pricing is also highly relevant to the relative preference of train vs. no frills plane.

The Ministry of Railways shall be critizised whatsoever they do. Now the challenge is to make the best possible use of the network - to do things right and show that they can be done right.
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Old April 2nd, 2011, 09:20 PM   #1930
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Oh gawd, the pendulum is swinging to the other extreme now.
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Old April 6th, 2011, 12:24 AM   #1931
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Question about buying train tickets in China

I have a couple of questions regarding ticket sales in railway stations. Does anyone know how the process (step by step) of buying a ticked using an automated ticked machine works in Guangzhou stations? I will want to buy a ticket from Guangzhou to Chenzhou West and back on the same day.

So here are my questions:

1. Will I have to buy ticket at each station of departure (i.e. one in Guangzhou and one in Chenzhou)? Would be very inconvenient.
2. Can I buy a return journey ticket in Guangzhou and how do I know that there are seats from my destination city (Chenzhou) back to my origin city (Guangzhou) on the same day?... for example, if I just want to get there, spend one hour and get back?
3. Are credit/debit cards accepted on the ticket machines?
4. Are there usually queues to buy tickets at the ticket machines? If so what's the best time of day to avoid queuing?
5. Are there any interactive online websites describing or simulating a typical ticket vending machine for CRH trains?

My trip is nearing and I'll have only a couple of days in Guangzhou one of which will have to be dedicated to taking CRH to Chenzhou and back in a shortest possible time (i.e. just hopping on a train, going there and hopping on another train going back), so I want to make sure I know everything before I even get there. I'd be thankful if anyone could help me out!
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Old April 6th, 2011, 07:15 AM   #1932
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I would like to have following reply:

1-2 You can buy any kind of railway tickets at each railway station or ticket selling point in city center. It is noted that additional charges (about 5 RMB, about US$0.7) may be charged if you buy ticket in ticket selling point or out of station departure.

3-4 I doesn't know that very well, I think credit card (VISA, Master) is not very common in China, I think ticket selling machine is only accept cash. As many ppl not know how to operate ticket selling machine, I think queuing is not very long.

Finally, Guangzhou has no direct way to Chenzhou in this time, you have to change train in Wuhan.
Guangzhou South to Wuhan
Wuhan to Chenzhou
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Old April 6th, 2011, 07:44 AM   #1933
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I don't know about Visa, MasterCard, etc being accepted but I do remember seeing UnionPay as an option. Your best choice is to use cash or if you feel highly insecure about carrying cash then get a Bank of China card in your home country.
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Old April 6th, 2011, 08:35 AM   #1934
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You can buy both tickets at the same time in Guangzhou.

Buying a ticket on the automatic ticket machine is quite straightforward. pick the English version interface and there is also a demo.
HOWEVER, you cannot buy tickets from the automatic ticket machines unless you have a Chinese citizen ID card in Guangzhou. The machines need the citizen ID number to get to the payment step, and currently passports are not accepted. AFAIK this policy was still enforced in March, so I am afraid that you will have to purchase both tickets at the ticket windows. I hope people from Guangzhou can give you some updates.

As for the payment method, my suggestion is to bring enough cash since it is not clear if foreign bank cards are accepted or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pansori View Post
I have a couple of questions regarding ticket sales in railway stations. Does anyone know how the process (step by step) of buying a ticked using an automated ticked machine works in Guangzhou stations? I will want to buy a ticket from Guangzhou to Chenzhou West and back on the same day.

So here are my questions:

1. Will I have to buy ticket at each station of departure (i.e. one in Guangzhou and one in Chenzhou)? Would be very inconvenient.
2. Can I buy a return journey ticket in Guangzhou and how do I know that there are seats from my destination city (Chenzhou) back to my origin city (Guangzhou) on the same day?... for example, if I just want to get there, spend one hour and get back?
3. Are credit/debit cards accepted on the ticket machines?
4. Are there usually queues to buy tickets at the ticket machines? If so what's the best time of day to avoid queuing?
5. Are there any interactive online websites describing or simulating a typical ticket vending machine for CRH trains?

My trip is nearing and I'll have only a couple of days in Guangzhou one of which will have to be dedicated to taking CRH to Chenzhou and back in a shortest possible time (i.e. just hopping on a train, going there and hopping on another train going back), so I want to make sure I know everything before I even get there. I'd be thankful if anyone could help me out!
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Old April 6th, 2011, 02:28 PM   #1935
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honwai1983 View Post
I would like to have following reply:

1-2 You can buy any kind of railway tickets at each railway station or ticket selling point in city center. It is noted that additional charges (about 5 RMB, about US$0.7) may be charged if you buy ticket in ticket selling point or out of station departure.

3-4 I doesn't know that very well, I think credit card (VISA, Master) is not very common in China, I think ticket selling machine is only accept cash. As many ppl not know how to operate ticket selling machine, I think queuing is not very long.

Finally, Guangzhou has no direct way to Chenzhou in this time, you have to change train in Wuhan.
Guangzhou South to Wuhan
Wuhan to Chenzhou
Are you sure there is no train to Chenzhou? I check it on China train guide and it's the first stop of Guangzhou-Wuhan just North of Guangzhou
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Old April 6th, 2011, 02:30 PM   #1936
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P.S. Thank you all for the answers. That's very kind. I'll keep this in mind. Hopefully I'll make some photo or even video footage.
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Old April 6th, 2011, 08:20 PM   #1937
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pansori View Post
Are you sure there is no train to Chenzhou? I check it on China train guide and it's the first stop of Guangzhou-Wuhan just North of Guangzhou
Guangzhou-Wuhan HSR stops at Chenzhou West Station, not the old Chenzhou Station on the conventional line.

Chenzhou West is the first main stop outside Guangdong Province. Between Guangzhou South and Chenzhou West, there are Guangzhou North, Qingyuan and Shaoguan.
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Old April 6th, 2011, 11:26 PM   #1938
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Gentlemen, and what about english speaking ticket counters for foreigners? I would assume there should be at least a few at Guangzhou south? Are they specially marked or have signs?
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Old April 7th, 2011, 06:14 PM   #1939
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All Aboard China’s Fast Trains to Trouble

An interesting commentary from a mainland Chinese publication, Caixin:

By staff reporters Cao Haili, Yu Ning, Liang Dongmei, Bi Aifang and Wang Heyan
03.31.2011
english.caing.com

Now that high-speed trains are crisscrossing the country, enormous costs and other shortcomings have been exposed Nearly 300 spacious train stations replete with marble and amenities have opened across China in recent years to complement a fleet of white "Harmony" bullet trains that whisk passengers between cities at jaw-dropping speeds. Indeed, the nation's modern network of high-speed rail lines, grand stations and sleek trains has forever changed the world's impression of China's once-backward railroads.

More track for high-speed railways was laid in China over the past decade than all new rail installed in western countries combined over the past half-century. What's more, China's railway companies now export technology and heavy manufacturing capacity to other countries. All this fast-track growth has cheered supporters of high-speed rail in China, who call the bullet trains more comfortable and a lot faster than the rusting coaches that typically crisscross the country. They also claim heavy investment for the network will eventually pay off through economic expansion in areas newly served by fast trains.

Opponents of the ongoing project, however, say high-speed trains serve only the rich. They call the build-up wrong for China's strategic positioning, citing serious market, debt and financial risks. They also point to technical dangers and safety issues that run against the grain of China's push for "scientific development."

A subdued debate over the pros and cons of high-speed expansion bubbled beneath the surface of Beijing policymaking for years even while the railway revolution roared forward. Nothing slowed the nationwide initiative led by the central government's Ministry of Railways and its then-chief, Liu Zhijun, also known as China's Father of High-speed Rail. Yet suddenly, following an announcement by authorities in February, allegations of financial corruption and all-too-cozy relations with railroad construction contractors blacklisted Liu and led to his demise. He's been detained by Communist Party investigators, removed from office and replaced. Some of his associates are in trouble as well.

A source close to the ministry said inspectors started carefully combing through the railway system's investment records shortly after Liu's dismissal. The ongoing investigation may shed light on the scope of the alleged financial malfeasance.Meanwhile, the Liu case has raised questions about the quality, safety and sensibleness of high-speed railroads, bullet trains and related equipment. Separate concerns swirl around the future of traditional train lines, many of which offer slow but inexpensive travel, some of which have already been forced out by high-speed lines. Chinese government officials say the overall direction of the nation's railway modernization project will not change in the wake of the Liu scandal, according to the ministry source. Projects already under way will roll onward, he said, although projects still in planning stages are expected to be adjusted. Meanwhile, the debate over the program's future is likely to intensify.

Faster, Costlier
China is one of a handful of countries in the world where passenger trains can travel 350 kilometers per hour. But speed is expensive: Technology costs climb substantially with every incremental increase in train speed. Mechanical, communications, signaling and railroad construction costs are significantly higher for high-speed railways. Professor Zhao Jian of Beijing Jiaotong University School of Economics and Management says a single kilometer of high-speed rail can cost three times more than ordinary track. Railroad beds and track must be carefully laid for high-speed lines. To this end, the ministry and its contractors made extensive use of viaducts and tunnels when building lines for 350 kph trains. More than 50 percent of these lines use viaducts, and on the Beijing-Tianjin and Beijing-Shanghai lines the proportion is as high as 80 percent.

To fit high-speed goals, the Ministry of Railways ordered the use of non-ballast track for all new passenger line construction projects. Non-ballast track costs twice as much as standard track to install, although maintenance costs are relatively low. Speed-obsessed policymakers including Liu have been blamed for opaque financing and higher-than-necessary costs. Feasibility studies in 2003 for high-speed lines between Beijing and Tianjin, Wuhan and Guangzhou, and Zhengzhou and Xi'an called for 200 kph trains. But after construction began, the ministry ordered boosting each project to accommodate 350 kph trains, which "immediately increased costs," said Zhao.

Caixin learned that the National Development and Reform Commission, the government's economic planning agency, originally approved a 12.3 billion yuan investment for the Beijing-Tianjin project. But by the time the 115-kilometer line opened in 2008, the cost had risen to roughly 21.5 billion yuan, or 185 million yuan per kilometer of track – the most expensive in China. True, the Beijing-Tianjin train can travel up to 350 kph instead of 200 kph as originally planned. But the higher speed saves less than 10 minutes per trip.

Why did costs exceed targets? Ministry officials declined to answer that question. One man who might know – Feng Qifu, former president of Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Railway Co. Ltd. – was dismissed in 2008 after an audit. His ouster was said to be tied to cost overruns. Industry insiders say almost every high-speed rail project so far built or under construction has carried a price higher than projected. Can these higher costs be justified as necessary to meet passenger demand for high-speed train travel? Not necessarily. Zhao noted that China's passenger rail market mainly serves a huge, low-income market whose riders travel to and from a wide variety of departure and destination points, given China's huge land area.

Two months after its February 2010 opening, the high-speed Beijing-Fuzhou quietly closed for a lack of passengers. Reports said not a single seat was booked during the 10 days before the decision to scrap the 2,058-kilometer line. (not sure if this statement is accurate - there was not a new high speed line just use of new high speed equipment on existing track) Tickets were offered for up to 584 yuan for a seat and up to 1,185 yuan per sleeper, as opposed to 1,610 yuan for a typical plane ticket. A trip on a traditional slow train between these cities is four hours longer, but considerably less expensive.

A World Bank report last year on high-speed rail and economic development found fast trains can successfully compete with airliners for journeys under 750 kilometers, especially when an airport is far from a city center. Rail can grab 80 percent of the traveling market for distances up to 500 kilometers, the report said. But planes are more popular for longer trips. Civil Aviation Administration Director Li Jiaxiang told Caixin that high-speed trains can compete against airliners when cities are less than 500 kilometers apart, but never when the distance is 2,000 kilometers. Zhao also noted that speed is not always a top criteria for travelers. Rather, a key concern is whether the time saved is of greater value than the higher cost. Traditional intercity rail travel is estimated to cost between 0.1 and 0.15 yuan per kilometer per person in China. High-speed rail, though, usually costs between 0.45 yuan and 0.6 yuan.

This cost gap fueled debates this year during the traditional Spring Festival traveling period in February, when vast numbers of people return to their home towns for family celebrations. Critics of high-speed rail accused the Ministry of Railways of heavy spending on fast trains but ignoring the needs of common people who travel by rail for the annual festivities. Zhao noted that high-speed passenger lines have replaced slow, inexpensive trains, forcing passengers to pay higher ticket prices. He warned that the disappointment among rail travelers "could even cause social instability." Before the Wuhan-Guangzhou fast train started running in December 2009, many routes between Guangzhou and the cities of Wuchang and Hankou, including direct trains, were quietly shut down.

A former Wuhan Railway Bureau worker told Caixin the lines were closed "to support high-speed rail." Bureau officials had feared informing travelers of the change, so instead of directly announcing the closings, would-be passengers were told at ticket windows that the seats were sold out. Similarly, high-speed rail lines between Beijing and Tianjin, Shanghai and Ningbo, and Shanghai and Hangzhou replaced at least some slower trains – even those running at 250 kph.

Ironically, laborers for these high-speed rail projects have included the common people most likely to ride slow trains. To meet tight deadlines, railroad contractors often employ subcontractors, who then recruit local farmers living along a construction route for some of the grunt work. These farmers may lack railroad construction training, which one high-speed project supplier said can contribute to quality problems. Moreover, he said, overextended projects and short timetables challenge suppliers to meet demand. Tunnel excavations in China proceed at about 10 meters per day, said one foreign expert, about three times the tunneling pace common in other countries.

Project chiefs often expect contractors to finish ahead of time, so suppliers are expected to deliver materials much sooner than planned. "And when that happens, it's hard to produce problem-free products," the supplier said. Why did Liu and the rest of the ministry apparently put high-speed rail projects ahead of costs, passengers and safety concerns? "Rail currently has a favorable, opportune moment for low-cost development," Liu once wrote. "With rapid economic and social development, resource shortages will become increasingly prominent, and land acquisition and relocation costs, material prices and labor costs will grow higher. "This is an irreversible trend. So the earlier we carry out large-scale railway construction and the faster we push it forward, the lower our costs will be," he said. "Seize the opportunity, build more railways, and build them fast."
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Old April 9th, 2011, 11:15 AM   #1940
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ANR View Post
An interesting commentary from a mainland Chinese publication, Caixin:

By staff reporters Cao Haili, Yu Ning, Liang Dongmei, Bi Aifang and Wang Heyan
03.31.2011
english.caing.com
Quote:
Originally Posted by ANR View Post
Meanwhile, the Liu case has raised questions about the quality, safety and sensibleness of high-speed railroads, bullet trains and related equipment. Separate concerns swirl around the future of traditional train lines, many of which offer slow but inexpensive travel, some of which have already been forced out by high-speed lines. Chinese government officials say the overall direction of the nation's railway modernization project will not change in the wake of the Liu scandal, according to the ministry source. Projects already under way will roll onward, he said, although projects still in planning stages are expected to be adjusted. Meanwhile, the debate over the program's future is likely to intensify.

Faster, Costlier
China is one of a handful of countries in the world where passenger trains can travel 350 kilometers per hour. But speed is expensive: Technology costs climb substantially with every incremental increase in train speed. Mechanical, communications, signaling and railroad construction costs are significantly higher for high-speed railways. Professor Zhao Jian of Beijing Jiaotong University School of Economics and Management says a single kilometer of high-speed rail can cost three times more than ordinary track. Railroad beds and track must be carefully laid for high-speed lines. To this end, the ministry and its contractors made extensive use of viaducts and tunnels when building lines for 350 kph trains. More than 50 percent of these lines use viaducts, and on the Beijing-Tianjin and Beijing-Shanghai lines the proportion is as high as 80 percent.

To fit high-speed goals, the Ministry of Railways ordered the use of non-ballast track for all new passenger line construction projects. Non-ballast track costs twice as much as standard track to install, although maintenance costs are relatively low. Speed-obsessed policymakers including Liu have been blamed for opaque financing and higher-than-necessary costs. Feasibility studies in 2003 for high-speed lines between Beijing and Tianjin, Wuhan and Guangzhou, and Zhengzhou and Xi'an called for 200 kph trains. But after construction began, the ministry ordered boosting each project to accommodate 350 kph trains, which "immediately increased costs," said Zhao.

Caixin learned that the National Development and Reform Commission, the government's economic planning agency, originally approved a 12.3 billion yuan investment for the Beijing-Tianjin project. But by the time the 115-kilometer line opened in 2008, the cost had risen to roughly 21.5 billion yuan, or 185 million yuan per kilometer of track – the most expensive in China. True, the Beijing-Tianjin train can travel up to 350 kph instead of 200 kph as originally planned. But the higher speed saves less than 10 minutes per trip.

Why did costs exceed targets? Ministry officials declined to answer that question. One man who might know – Feng Qifu, former president of Beijing-Tianjin Intercity Railway Co. Ltd. – was dismissed in 2008 after an audit. His ouster was said to be tied to cost overruns. Industry insiders say almost every high-speed rail project so far built or under construction has carried a price higher than projected. Can these higher costs be justified as necessary to meet passenger demand for high-speed train travel? Not necessarily. Zhao noted that China's passenger rail market mainly serves a huge, low-income market whose riders travel to and from a wide variety of departure and destination points, given China's huge land area.
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Originally Posted by ANR View Post
This cost gap fueled debates this year during the traditional Spring Festival traveling period in February, when vast numbers of people return to their home towns for family celebrations. Critics of high-speed rail accused the Ministry of Railways of heavy spending on fast trains but ignoring the needs of common people who travel by rail for the annual festivities. Zhao noted that high-speed passenger lines have replaced slow, inexpensive trains, forcing passengers to pay higher ticket prices. He warned that the disappointment among rail travelers "could even cause social instability." Before the Wuhan-Guangzhou fast train started running in December 2009, many routes between Guangzhou and the cities of Wuchang and Hankou, including direct trains, were quietly shut down.

A former Wuhan Railway Bureau worker told Caixin the lines were closed "to support high-speed rail." Bureau officials had feared informing travelers of the change, so instead of directly announcing the closings, would-be passengers were told at ticket windows that the seats were sold out. Similarly, high-speed rail lines between Beijing and Tianjin, Shanghai and Ningbo, and Shanghai and Hangzhou replaced at least some slower trains – even those running at 250 kph.
The building projects take several years to complete. Cancelling them now or substantially changing them would waste huge sums of money over several years.

But scheduling and pricing decisions can be changed quickly.

Did the new trains between Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou start in March?
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