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Old July 25th, 2012, 05:52 PM   #1
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MISC | Who's the Leader in the World's High Speed Rail Revolution?

I saw this article recently talking about the world's most advanced high-speed rail projects and although they're all impressive, I'm really inerested to find out who everyone thinks is ahead in the high-speed rail revolution?

In my opinion, China's high speed rail revolution is impressive yet I think Carlifornia's developments have outrun many.

The world’s most advanced high speed rail projects

Last edited by MarcoJonson; July 26th, 2012 at 11:16 AM. Reason: Link going to a 404 page
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Old July 25th, 2012, 06:04 PM   #2
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planning and construction of track: China
station design: China (hands down)
train controll, signalling: ETCS (obviously)
trainsets: Alstom (Kawasaki a close second)
initiative: China, Spain
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Old July 25th, 2012, 07:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcoJonson View Post
I saw this article recently talking about the world's most advanced high-speed rail projects and although they're all impressive, I'm really inerested to find out who everyone thinks is ahead in the high-speed rail revolution?

In my opinion, China's high speed rail revolution is impressive yet I think Carlifornia's developments have outrun many.

http://www.railway-technology.com/features/featurehigh-speed-rail-lines/
California haven't done anything yet?!

China have been quick and built some impressive complexes - but their integration with existing rail has been shoddy, their stations aren't central and they have the advantage of not giving a shit and the ability to bulldoze communities in order to develop. So that helps.

I would probably say Spain.

France were great, but their costs are so very high now. And their non-HS network is terrible so connections to anywhere off TGV are tricky. Pricey too.

Italy is also very well developed and journey times are high considering some classic line running and station use. Their bigger stations are termini often, meaning reversals though.

The German model is what we'll probably see in the UK/US at least in their earlier stages - where upgrading of classic lines rather than dedicated lines, has been required due to their polycentric nature, rather than radial from one or two points (Paris, London, Madrid, Rome, Barcelona).
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Old July 25th, 2012, 07:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gramercy View Post
planning and construction of track: China
station design: China (hands down)
train controll, signalling: ETCS (obviously)
trainsets: Alstom (Kawasaki a close second)
initiative: China, Spain
No Japan? I think they are still ahead of the Europeans, signalling, trainset, and etc.
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Old July 25th, 2012, 08:50 PM   #5
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well you have to admit the question itself is so arbitrary it doesn't really have a good answer

---

i think considering all factors, most of these countries are doing their best and then there are countries which should do more
• Spain, Turkey and China had/have a very crappy/lacking/wrong gauge etc. network so when you have that situation you might as well go for it and build a 21st century infrastructure
• France and Italy have a dense and good traditional network so it makes a lot less sense to connect every single endpoint with brand new lines, therefore they have to stretch the investment waaay out in time, there are some lines they are only planning in the second half of the century
• Japan also has a nice traditional network but then again HSR is pretty much only justified along a single (albeit veeeery long) line from Kagoshima to Sapporo and they almost have that, plus the few lines around Tokyo and the northern coastline from Kyoto to Nagano, and the fact that they committed to a Maglev is in itself a massive point in their favor; plus their gauge-changing tech will for the first time allow european-like integration
• Taiwan and South Korea are kind of a mash, few large metropolitan areas along a single or Y shaped line, almost ready
• the german speaking countries, Germany, Switzerland and Austria are living up to their reputation as being the stingiest mofos, preventing for example a continuous line from Paris to Budapest but I digress. They have the same problem France, Italy and Japan faced: having been developed countries all the way, their traditional network is already very dense and good quality so they can't expect the same returns as elsewhere, however I still think they should at least commit to 300 kph alignments on major corridors (Stuttgart-Wien *khm*), and good on them for all the upgrades beyond 160 kph
• Portugal should just build the Lisbon-Porto-ES, Lisbon-Madrid, Lisbon-Sevilla sections

• the UK and the US are the countries I'm most mad at, because they both have the resources and the demand to build truly high speed lines, in case of the US apparently they feel completely justified at spending ONE TRILLION on a single airplane project but somehow 10% or less of that for HSR corridors would be evil socialism...

• Russia also has the potential for a great network and at least they are preparing something however I'm afraid they'll chicken out of building 300++ lines and will rather go with 250 upgrades

• as for northern Europe (Benelux, Norway, Sweden, Finland), I think they are each doing their best.. the Benelux are simply too small and yet they dedicated to a number of lines, I just wish Bruxelles had a better corridor in/around it and the Aachen-Köln section should also be for 300 kph; the Amsterdam-Rhine area connection should also be built up to 300 kph. Norway is so ridiculously rich that I don't understand the hesitation, just build single track 300 kph tunnels and be done with it already. Sweden seems to be good at long-term planning, with upgradable lines and I guess 250 kph is justified since these are mostly upgrades; however the country is certainly large enough to justify higher speeds, at least the Oslo-Malmo-Stockholm triangle. Finland should/does obviously concentrate around Helsinki, Helsinki-St. Petersburg is also OK in my book as it is.

• as for eastern Europe, for the most part the traditional rail is still crappy and demand is much less, nevertheless I think in this decade these lines would be justified, at least on a 300++ kph alignment and 230-250 trains: Polish network (Warsaw, Krakow, Wroclaw, Katowice, Lodz, -to Berlin, -to Dresden), Gdansk; Prague-Brno, Wien-Bratislava-Budapest, Istanbul-Athens

• and the countries that really should get their sh.t together already are: Brazil, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, + Canada (hello, Detroit-Quebec), Australia (Melbourne-Gold Coast) get going!!

• Saudi Arabia and Marocco are weird outliers

there

Last edited by gramercy; July 25th, 2012 at 09:02 PM.
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Old July 26th, 2012, 03:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yaohua2000 View Post
No Japan? I think they are still ahead of the Europeans, signalling, trainset, and etc.
More than signalling or trainset, I would push "resilience" or "reliability" - like snow proof and earthquake countermeasures. Is that part of "safety"?
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Old July 26th, 2012, 06:51 AM   #7
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Japan gets it in management. They have the most frequent trains and always on time.

Infrastructure goes to China. (7000m turn radius, elevated balastless tracks, those stations... delicious)

Trains.. I cannot decide..

Last edited by foxmulder; July 26th, 2012 at 06:38 PM.
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Old July 26th, 2012, 06:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gramercy View Post
• and the countries that really should get their sh.t together already are: Brazil, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, + Canada (hello, Detroit-Quebec), Australia (Melbourne-Gold Coast) get going!!
Agree, but don't hold your breath on Quebec City to Detroit. The majority of people in central Canada think high speed rail is a frivolous luxury rather than basic transportation infrastructure. They're still stuck in a 1960s car mentality. I kid you not.
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Old July 26th, 2012, 07:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post
Agree, but don't hold your breath on Quebec City to Detroit. The majority of people in central Canada think high speed rail is a frivolous luxury rather than basic transportation infrastructure. They're still stuck in a 1960s car mentality. I kid you not.
Again, North America, not a lot of people, huge open spaces, cheaper to drive, not many large densely populated areas.

Even the Ontario Peninsula or NE USA Corridor are no where near as dense as China.

And why would anyone ever want to go to Detroit from QC?
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Old July 26th, 2012, 08:00 AM   #10
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It would be part of the corridor Quebec - Montreal - Ottawa - Toronto - Detroit - (Chicago).

There are enough people that want to travel between any of these cities.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 2co2co View Post
More than signalling or trainset, I would push "resilience" or "reliability" - like snow proof and earthquake countermeasures. Is that part of "safety"?
Safety and reliability are closely related, since even small accidents or even incidents can disrupt service effecting the long term reliability. On this front Japan is way ahead of any other country in the world, with a almost perfect safety record set against the highest total passenger numbers in the world.
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Old July 26th, 2012, 08:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxmulder View Post
Trains.. I cannot decide..
I think Spain would be a good contender for best passenger comfort.

But it is also a good contender in the "trying to be as frustrating as an airline" category, and the "succesfull at hiding the fact that the network is actually pretty well integrated" division...
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Old July 26th, 2012, 03:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gramercy

• the UK and the US are the countries I'm most mad at, because they both have the resources and the demand to build truly high speed lines,
The UK suffers the opposite problem from the US I think, in that most major cities are very close together (even compared to France, Spain, Germany, Italy) and already mostly served by pretty fast traditional rail services so the improvements in times would not be anywhere near as big as in Spain for example so it hasn't been a high priority historically.

We do have HS1 to the continent and HS2 is finally getting off the ground but it's capacity constraints that have really made it happen imo rather than a perceived urgent requirement for faster times. The capacity needs increasing so we might as well do it with HSR as traditional rail.
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Old July 26th, 2012, 07:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxmulder View Post
Japan gets it in management. They have the most frequent trains and always on time.

1-

Infrastructure goes to China.

(7000m turn radius, elevated balastless tracks, those stations... delicious)


Trains.. I cannot decide..
1-
Not as far as ratio of population to the HSLs.

7000 km of HSLs seem to be a lot but they are not a lot when you take into consideration the sisze of the country, the population and the HSL network.

For instance: (data estimated)

Spain: population 46 million people , HSL about 2500km(?)
France: population 60 millions, HSLs 2200km
China : 1,3 billions, HSLs 7000 .....
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Old July 26th, 2012, 08:22 PM   #14
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I'd say Japan leads in only 2 areas now:

1. Energy Efficiency (N700 and E5/E6 are said to be the most energy efficient in the world)
2. Management (signalling, safety [earthquakes, snow, typhoons] etc)

In 2014 when the chuo maglev goes U/C I guess it could become a "pioneer" again.
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Old July 27th, 2012, 02:47 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joseph1951 View Post
1-
Not as far as ratio of population to the HSLs.

7000 km of HSLs seem to be a lot but they are not a lot when you take into consideration the sisze of the country, the population and the HSL network.

For instance: (data estimated)

Spain: population 46 million people , HSL about 2500km(?)
France: population 60 millions, HSLs 2200km
China : 1,3 billions, HSLs 7000 .....
What do the technical specifications (turn radius and balastless, elevated tracks) have to do with population?
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Old July 27th, 2012, 06:28 AM   #16
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In efficiency, safety and management? Probably Japan.
Speed? The French. (Although with outdated technology, hence why the AGV has been developed)
Distance? China

Am I missing anything?
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Old July 27th, 2012, 12:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joseph1951 View Post
1-
7000 km of HSLs seem to be a lot but they are not a lot when you take into consideration the sisze of the country, the population and the HSL network.
Humm...Foxmulder was talking about curve radius (7 000 m) and not about network lenght (7 000 km). According to wikipedia, 2 500 m radius is enough for 210 km/h but 6 000 m is requested for 350 km/h.

But a nHSL (LGV) doesn't need to be as flat as existing railways: 4 % is ok.
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Old July 27th, 2012, 02:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxmulder View Post
Infrastructure goes to China. (7000m turn radius, elevated balastless tracks, those stations... delicious)
Those stations are quite impressive, but they also make some of the flaws in the system obvious. Huge waiting areas are indications of a system that is actually not that good at quickly moving large amounts of passengers...
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Old July 27th, 2012, 06:32 PM   #19
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Those stations are quite impressive, but they also make some of the flaws in the system obvious. Huge waiting areas are indications of a system that is actually not that good at quickly moving large amounts of passengers...
Many stations are overbuilt at the moment, because they were built with a network the size of Europe in mind. As of now only a few disconnected segments is operational, so once the network is complete, even these massive stations will be crowded.
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Old July 27th, 2012, 06:53 PM   #20
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i agree, if you take a bit of time to study some of these stations, you'll quickly realize that most of them are built to serve not just as an on-line/terminal station but as THE hub station for a city the size of Berlin or Paris

meaning that these stations already have or will have a) 2-4-6 PDL/ICL directions coming and going b) local suburban rail c) subways

Xi'an North: 4 PDL directions
Zhengzhou East: 4 PDL directions
Hangzhou East: 5 PDL directions
Nanjing Shouth: 6(!) PDL/ICL directions
etc

it's like having all lines coming to Paris both converging on one point and that station having to serve as through station
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