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Old July 13th, 2008, 12:28 AM   #361
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It's untimely & sad that China's cities have suffered some serious, deadly natural catastraphies in the months before the Olympics. But as an American I find it hard to lecture the Chinese on their rebuilding efforts. I'm sure that if New Orleans was located in China, it would be rebuilt bigger & better than it ever was, instead of still being stuck in limbo. We Americans seem to have lost the capacity to make or build much of anything these days.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 01:54 AM   #362
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actually Beijing is building the worlds biggest metro, to be 560 km by 2015. Tha Shanghai one will overtake London and be 500km by 2010, whilst in Guangzhou-Shenzhen theyre building the worlds largest by 2018, 2000km. All the Chinese cities are extending theyre metros from Wuhan to Nanjing to Dalain.
I'd still argue that having a HUGE metro is not quite as efficient as having a smaller metro and urban railway systems working in synergy. Metros are too slow for long distances so having the "worlds largest" tag for this doesn't necessarily mean it offers the best service. Look at Tokyo - they could have built a huge metro system, but instead they opted for a synergy model and they have one of the most efficient and effective urban railway networks in the world.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 08:24 AM   #363
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
I'd still argue that having a HUGE metro is not quite as efficient as having a smaller metro and urban railway systems working in synergy. Metros are too slow for long distances so having the "worlds largest" tag for this doesn't necessarily mean it offers the best service. Look at Tokyo - they could have built a huge metro system, but instead they opted for a synergy model and they have one of the most efficient and effective urban railway networks in the world.
Let me put this into prespective for you. The Tokyo Subway system have a system length of 328.8KM, according to Wikipedia. Do you see your error yet?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokyo_subway
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Old July 13th, 2008, 09:44 AM   #364
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Let me put this into prespective for you. The Tokyo Subway system have a system length of 328.8KM, according to Wikipedia. Do you see your error yet?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokyo_subway
Look at how much of Tokyo the metro covers. Does it serve all 30 million odd people in the Tokyo metropolitan area? No! The very article you linked me to states quite categorically:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tokyo Subway Wikipedia article
While the subway system itself is largely within the city center, the lines extend far out via extensive through services onto suburban railway lines.
Therefore, my statement about a synergy between important lines such as the Yamanote (busiest line of all I believe), Chūō, Sōbu, Tōkaidō and all of the other JR East lines are of equal importance in the network and are essential for the efficiency of the transport network in Tokyo.

A good transport system benefits the short distance commuter (where metros are very efficient), medium distance commuters and long distance commuters. The joy with some of the JR East lines is that they operate express lines and local lines, much like the NY Subway. This caters for the long distance journeys more effectively and cuts down journey times. From the plans I've seen for both Shanghai and Beijing neither of these networks have express lines yet have incredibly long lines in places. Although it is unlikely that people will ride from one end to the other, long metro lines aren't necessarily the most efficient way to travel due to frequent stops.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 10:26 AM   #365
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Line 10 opened late June. Airport line should open with in days, if it hasn't already been opened. Line 8 should open soon as well, but it will cut pretty close to the Olypmics from the looks of it.
Um... I live in Beijing. Line 10 hasn't opened yet. Nor has the Airport Express. As of Friday, there were no definite estimates of when the lines would open.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 12:11 PM   #366
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Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
Look at how much of Tokyo the metro covers. Does it serve all 30 million odd people in the Tokyo metropolitan area? No! The very article you linked me to states quite categorically:
Tokyo Metro covers a relatively small area. None of the lines go south of the Yamanote Line, and the don't go very far west (except the Yuurakuchou Line) or east (except the Touzai Line and Toei Shinjuku Line) of it either. "Far" might be subjective though.



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Originally Posted by Svartmetall View Post
Therefore, my statement about a synergy between important lines such as the Yamanote (busiest line of all I believe), Chūō, Sōbu, Tōkaidō and all of the other JR East lines are of equal importance in the network and are essential for the efficiency of the transport network in Tokyo.

A good transport system benefits the short distance commuter (where metros are very efficient), medium distance commuters and long distance commuters. The joy with some of the JR East lines is that they operate express lines and local lines, much like the NY Subway. This caters for the long distance journeys more effectively and cuts down journey times. From the plans I've seen for both Shanghai and Beijing neither of these networks have express lines yet have incredibly long lines in places. Although it is unlikely that people will ride from one end to the other, long metro lines aren't necessarily the most efficient way to travel due to frequent stops.
As far as Tokyo's through-services go, the vast majority are on private railways, not JR (only Touzai and Chiyoda lines run through on JR, and these operations are very short in Touzai Line's case).

That said, it should be noted that the private commuter railways, as well as JR for that matter, are by far faster than the subway system, even on the local services. Keiou, Keikyuu, and Odakyuu railways run extremely fast services with frequent and varying express services whose speeds regularly hit 100km/h or faster, even on the local service depending on the distance between stations. The subway can be as slow as 30km/h due to excessive curves in the Tokyo network, usually they travel around 50km/h between stations, some areas slower and some areas faster. Commuter lines are 2 or 3 times faster in travel speed.

The biggest advantage of the Tokyo system, excluding southern areas like Meguro, Setagaya, and Oota wards where the system doesn't really go (commuter lines do though), is its coverage, most major streets have a subway beneath them. It is slow though, I do not consider it a successful system. Some of the lines do have express services though: Toei Shinjuku, and Fukutoshin Lines, plus a rapid service on the Touzai Line, and a very limited airport express on the Asakusa Line. Toei Shinjuku is probably the best subway line in the network, which is funny since it is one of Tokyo's oldest.

I expect Chinese cities may suffer similar problems but how big these problems will be is somewhat dependent on the station spacing their systems employ, as well as how many curves in their lines between stations (this has a big impact if the trains are long). NYC is one idea that works, but it is challenging in its own right, too. A double-tracked line with quad-tracked stations (all stations) can provide the highest capacities though, and that may be what is in the bigger Chinese cities best interests. Based on some pictures I have seen of the crowds in Shanghai and other systems in China, they really should have employed that; AFAIK, they haven't done so (but I am not very familiar with the details of Chinese metros' built forms).
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Old July 13th, 2008, 12:22 PM   #367
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Originally Posted by TRZ View Post
As far as Tokyo's through-services go, the vast majority are on private railways, not JR (only Touzai and Chiyoda lines run through on JR, and these operations are very short in Touzai Line's case).
Thanks for the clarification! It's difficult to find information on the rail network in Tokyo (beyond the metro and the well known lines) as someone who can't speak Japanese. I'm glad that you agree that the Tokyo metro actually covers small section of the Tokyo metropolitan area.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 02:10 PM   #368
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China's mad rush to build metros has raised unease amongst Chinese politicians themselves. As all metros, they're expensive to maintain and will not necessarily meet the expectations of reducing overcrowding and ridership. With China being the way it is - economically & politically - metros are relatively cheap to build... So best do it now like other big metro systems did on cheap labour.

However, it is concerning the sheer pace of the build. If brand new metros are flooding now, what does that say about the quality of the infrastructure? I don't mean to be insensitive, but around the Sichuan earthquake a lot of focus came out on the newer buildings that had collapsed: because they were in a rush to put them up as cheaply as possible.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 06:57 PM   #369
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However, it is concerning the sheer pace of the build. If brand new metros are flooding now, what does that say about the quality of the infrastructure? I don't mean to be insensitive, but around the Sichuan earthquake a lot of focus came out on the newer buildings that had collapsed: because they were in a rush to put them up as cheaply as possible.
I wouldn't be as concerned about the pace as I would the business ethic in China, which is discomforting, except for Hong Kong thanks to its days as a British colony (which has a significant impact on their business practices).

There was a subway construction cave-in that the contracting officer on the site was trying desperately to keep under wraps for the sake of money; people died in that cave-in. This was quite the news story. I believe this was a Beijing line since it was related to the Olympics.

There is a huge problem with Chinese business ethic in their construction industry, and it goes beyond the buildings that fell in the earthquake; I expect no difference in quality in their subways.

Manpower isn't the problem; if any country has it, it is China. So it should easily be possible for them to build it this fast. However the business practices in there are a recipe for disaster. Too much greed and too little professionalism.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 06:58 PM   #370
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Originally Posted by sarflonlad View Post
However, it is concerning the sheer pace of the build. If brand new metros are flooding now, what does that say about the quality of the infrastructure? I don't mean to be insensitive, but around the Sichuan earthquake a lot of focus came out on the newer buildings that had collapsed: because they were in a rush to put them up as cheaply as possible.
I don't think we can judge the overall quality of the infrastructure based on one freak storm. I'd be a lot more troubled if there are regular leaks and floods. I've seen New York subway platforms that leaked so badly that I had to keep my umbrella indoors, yet I doubt the whole place would cave in, or would the rest of the system join the collapse?
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Old July 13th, 2008, 07:02 PM   #371
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I don't think we can judge the overall quality of the infrastructure based on one freak storm. I'd be a lot more troubled if there are regular leaks and floods. I've seen New York subway platforms that leaked so badly that I had to keep my umbrella indoors, yet I doubt the whole place would cave in, or would the rest of the system join the collapse?
New York isn't an earthquake zone though. It isn't designed to withstand an earthquake either, because it will never need to.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 07:14 PM   #372
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New York isn't an earthquake zone though. It isn't designed to withstand an earthquake either, because it will never need to.
Disaster preparation is not just limited to earthquakes. If stations are not built soundly, then even water or storm runoff can wreck havoc on station structures. Don't under-estimate the power of seeping water on concrete and metal. So just because New York is not in an earthquake-prone area is not an excuse that station platforms can leak.

What people seem to have forgotten is the amount of foreign expertise involved in Chinese subway construction. Many of the contracts are awarded to foreign enterprises, from design to construction and even the rolling stock. For the Beijing subway, the biggest test came when it came out relatively unscathed in the 1976 Tangshan earthquake, which killed hundreds of thousands.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 07:14 PM   #373
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Originally Posted by TRZ View Post
New York isn't an earthquake zone though. It isn't designed to withstand an earthquake either, because it will never need to.
And is Beijing an Earthquake zone ?
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Old July 13th, 2008, 07:17 PM   #374
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Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
I don't think we can judge the overall quality of the infrastructure based on one freak storm. I'd be a lot more troubled if there are regular leaks and floods. I've seen New York subway platforms that leaked so badly that I had to keep my umbrella indoors, yet I doubt the whole place would cave in, or would the rest of the system join the collapse?
Exactly, the flood in the Beijing subway this time is from the entrance, it flows from from the entrance into the office, and that is obviously not a leak.

of course, some people here from countries that hardly experience (my guess) any natural diaster like a freak storm like this and they quickly judge other people's infastructure.

Maybe we shall wait and see when a torrential rain or an earthquake hits their city, and I'll see what they have to say about their country's infastructure quality.

so don't quickly judge others when yours haven't gone through a nature's test.

Last edited by snow is red; July 13th, 2008 at 07:26 PM.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 07:24 PM   #375
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Originally Posted by TRZ View Post
New York isn't an earthquake zone though. It isn't designed to withstand an earthquake either, because it will never need to.
Based on this statement, I would like to ask you sir TRZ and Sarflonlad to explain this article to me.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0630130119.htm

Ye maybe you're right that New York is not a quake prone zone, but what if things happen unexpectedly ? oh shall we use the same arguement ?

ye we shall see.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 07:45 PM   #376
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Read this about Tokyo from Bloomberg


http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...1o&refer=japan
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Old July 13th, 2008, 07:47 PM   #377
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Disaster preparation is not just limited to earthquakes. If stations are not built soundly, then even water or storm runoff can wreck havoc on station structures. Don't under-estimate the power of seeping water on concrete and metal. So just because New York is not in an earthquake-prone area is not an excuse that station platforms can leak.
You specifically mentioned cave-ins and collapsing structures. Generally, something pretty strong has to start something so catastrophic. While a hurricane could also fit the bill, which NY does get sometimes, an earthquake is the most likely culprit to cause a large-scale collapse.

Over the long term, you are correct that water is a powerful force, in fact, the only thing you forget was that it is the most powerful force that these systems have to deal with; because they must deal with it continuously. That and soil pressure (which also includes water in the soil anyway). While the biggest long-term issue is water, the advantage here is that, in almost all cases, it has the lee-way of being a long-term issue. While I agree that they shouldn't doddle on these issues if they're smart, they are manageable even if not addressed immediately (it's just bad practice to not address these immediately).

System collapse is pretty hard to imagine without an earthquake though.

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What people seem to have forgotten is the amount of foreign expertise involved in Chinese subway construction. Many of the contracts are awarded to foreign enterprises, from design to construction and even the rolling stock. For the Beijing subway, the biggest test came when it came out relatively unscathed in the 1976 Tangshan earthquake, which killed hundreds of thousands.
All the foreign involvement in the world is not going to help if there is extreme, and even dangerous (as has been the case with some of the schools that fell in the recent earthquake), cost-cutting implemented by the Chinese, possibly without notification to the over-seeing powers that are managing the whole thing. Regardless of foreign involvement, the construction crews are still Chinese; it'd be insanely expensive otherwise, but I can believe that the construction management firm is foreign - but it isn't guaranteed that they will have all the information of what goes on (although they're supposed to). There's a lot of bribery from what I understand of Chinese business practices (excluding Hong Kong), and that does not bode well for the quality of construction in anything.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 07:49 PM   #378
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And is Beijing an Earthquake zone ?
Beijing felt the recent big quake in China.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 07:50 PM   #379
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Exactly, the flood in the Beijing subway this time is from the entrance, it flows from from the entrance into the office, and that is obviously not a leak.

of course, some people here from countries that hardly experience (my guess) any natural diaster like a freak storm like this and they quickly judge other people's infastructure.

Maybe we shall wait and see when a torrential rain or an earthquake hits their city, and I'll see what they have to say about their country's infastructure quality.

so don't quickly judge others when yours haven't gone through a nature's test.
Well, my hometown's subway network has dealt with massive blizzards, tornado-brewing winds, heavy rain, extreme heat, extreme cold, and a massive fire in the system. That system is quite the trooper, and I hold it as a standard as do others in the industry. It isn't the most aesthetic, but it's sound.
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Old July 13th, 2008, 07:50 PM   #380
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You specifically mentioned cave-ins and collapsing structures. Generally, something pretty strong has to start something so catastrophic. While a hurricane could also fit the bill, which NY does get sometimes, an earthquake is the most likely culprit to cause a large-scale collapse.
Water damage from years of maintenance neglect can cause enough erosion to compromise the entire structure. After all, many of New York's stations are fairly aged. I don't see why neglect can take place in light of the extraordinary circumstance when water damage can actually cause structural failure, just as my curiosity as to why people are overly concerned the Beijing subway will suddenly collapse from one freak storm's flooding.

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All the foreign involvement in the world is not going to help if there is extreme, and even dangerous (as has been the case with some of the schools that fell in the recent earthquake), cost-cutting implemented by the Chinese, possibly without notification to the over-seeing powers that are managing the whole thing. Regardless of foreign involvement, the construction crews are still Chinese; it'd be insanely expensive otherwise, but I can believe that the construction management firm is foreign - but it isn't guaranteed that they will have all the information of what goes on (although they're supposed to). There's a lot of bribery from what I understand of Chinese business practices (excluding Hong Kong), and that does not bode well for the quality of construction in anything.
The key difference is this is a huge public infrastructure project, not the small construction works that built in homes, schools, and the like that rarely attract foreign attention anyway.

I doubt foreign companies working as a contractor for the Beijing subway would sign off complete on their contracts if they did not due the quality checks beforehand. Why would they expose themselves to such a huge legal risk? This is why foreign involvement in these major projects can counter some questionable business practices in the mainland.

After all, Sichuan's houses rarely get international tenders. Why are we comparing those collapses with a big international project such as the Beijing subway? Quite a stretch, isn't it?
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