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Old November 17th, 2010, 05:57 PM   #3861
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fragel View Post


... His proof is quite straightforward:






A first look at the pictures does give you the impression that no one is taking the HSTs. However, the original poster have twisted the facts to tell his story. The truth is that he took the G7312(mentioned in his post) train which is a non-stop train on Shanghai-Hangzhou HSR starting at 12 at noon (non-rush hour for this line). His seat was in the sixth coach(as is also indicated in his post), and he took the pictures in the 7th or 8th coach. That means at least the previous six coaches were full (the ticketing system is updating but by the time he took those pictures, tickets were assigned in sequence). So even during the low ridership period of the whole day, that HST still had at least 75% (6 out of 8 coaches) of full ridership. Remember that this line was not in service until Oct. 26th and he took the pictures on Nov 2nd, so I'd say such ridership is not that bad at all. However, he successfully convinced many people that the whole train was empty and ridership was 'appalling'.
well this picture is to small to tell anything really... But the second one...
actually tells very interesting story!
Look at the very back of the picture. What do you see there? Well there is a man standing there. He appears to be in uniform (train stuff?) I remember seeing only girls working as coach attendants, only guys I've see were actual drivers...
At any rate this is clearly personnel of sorts. the fact that he stands like the in that place (entrance to the car) is an indication that this picture is taken not during actual run of the train but at the station.
Another proof for this is the light. The brightness level at the entrance very strongly indicates (I would even go as far as to say proves) that train door is open.
What does it tells us? Well the train is at the station and very likely boarding hadn't started yet. Normally in China you would be allowed to the platform just few minutes before the departure of the train. So there is normally big crown rushing in and train fills in a matter of minutes. But there are ways to sneak to the platform ahead of time - done so myself in Nanjing about a month ago. Once you're on the platform there is nobody there to stop you getting in to yet empty car and make some "proof" shots. Actually there are all sort of people around - cleaners, and even train stuff but they typically don't really get involved. If you are there they sort of assume you can/have to be there... Particularly if you have a camera (especially a big one). Also on both pictures you can very clearly see station platform through the windows of the train.

So what do we have there? Well a train at the station. So as such these could in NO way be any kind of proff for ridership figures.



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Originally Posted by fragel View Post
This is a very popular post. When people talked about low ridership of Shanghai-Hangzhou HSR, that is the one post they refer to. And even journalists wrote articles based on it. The truth behind the pictures is so hard for people to understand. Those people don't care about the fact that for some HSTs during the peak time, even the standing tickets are sold out. Similar posts appeared before for Wuhan-Guangzhou and Shanghai-Nanjing HSRs. But the thing is, even on the busiest metro system in the world, you will still be able to take a picture of a half-empty train during the non-rush hour, let alone a HST.

I don't believe washington post would do their own research on this matter, they probably just looked through the internet, and 'hey, come look at these pictures!'

washington post only referred to the financial times report, I think you already posted one of their reports. I noticed they now quoted a Chinese website instead of FT directly, but apparently that website quoted/repeated the FT report. They obviously neglected the MOR clarification(not sure if they were intended to).
That article is a really shameful piece of c..p! I mean such a apparently respectable newspaper should really filter it's sources. Using some random site on the net as a source... well. I'll write here that I have been on Mars. Will WP publish an article stating that first maned Mars expedition had already taken place (using this my statement as a source)?

If they claim Chinese Academy of Science had stated something source should be... right Chinese Academy of Science. Or the state office to which this report had been submitted. Otherwise... Well WP is quite a conservative paper isn't it?

As for being in the red. Well I have heard this from many sources, including Chinese official ones. So I readily accept it. But one must put this into perspective. Yes these lines are in the red. Today.
But this is a massive infrastructure undertaking. It essentially creates entirely new ways to get around. So it is, in a way, supply that creates demand. Also one must keep in mind that we are talking about economy that grows at 8-10% per year. Or more! (Last 3 years Tianjin economy had been growing at about 16% per year!)... So even if demand is not there yet it will be in a matter of few years.

BTW ridership on JingJin (Beijing-Tianjin) HS PDL although said to be "disappointing" in it's first year of operation (according to China's audit office or something like this - don't remember official name) - at about 50% of estimated number (may be that is the ultimate source of all those "half empty trains" stories), was none-the-less 18,7mln passengers. In the second year this number had risen to 22,3 mln. And now in it's 3rd year the numbers for September (on average 69000 per day) suggest yearly figure of 25,2 mln.

Yet line still looses money. About 0.5 bln rmb per year. Estimates suggest that it will break even at about 30 mln passengers a year (at current prices).

This said, I have never seen half empty CRH train, and I have been on dozens and dozens of those (CRH1, CRH2, CRH3) at all times from yearly morning to late night. Most empty train I ever saw was about 75-80% full.

Another thing when talking about ridership numbers it is important to understand that there many various issues that may affect it. For instance at the same JingJin line. Lower than expected numbers could have been due to the relatively rare running of the train - one each 30 minutes or so. I assume it had been done to avoid "empty" trains - that would be quite embarrassing, now wouldn't it? Yet trains (well most of them) were paired ones eg 2x8carrage trains. To this day I can't understand the logic for such a decision. Could have there be some valid reason for it. May be. But knowing how things run in China there doesn't need to be one... Sadly there are very many examples of unprofessionalism and inexperience you see in China every day. And before all the "patriots" get together to bash me, know this - I'm just about biggest Sinophile there ever been! Yet one shouldn't be blind! For instance why on Earth there is no explicit schedule of HSR trains anywhere online? Not schedules made and published by individual fans, but the official one from MOR? Why it is impossible to buy tickets online? There are explanation to these, of course! Here is one given to the first question by an official at Hangzhou train station - "it all changes so fast..." (that is an explanation why there is no up to date schedule online!!!! What else should I say. China is growing country... so one must understand the pains of the process.
So back to trains... One improvement on JingJin line is that they have decoupled all the trains and set them running twice as often! I'm pretty sure that this measure alone had contributed quite a bit to the increase in ridership figures!

On the other hand- it is true that many are angry at increased fares that CRH brings. Particularly when these don't really come with any significant increase in speed - like in the situations when trains has to make many stops, and at some even stand and wait while faster non-stop one will pass it by (line on Nanjing-Shanghai line). Mind you, people on both ones, one that zips by at 300 km/h and one standing for 15 minutes at the station pay same fee! So, if you don't need to get directly from Nanjing to Shanghai, but instead are going from say Nanjing to Suzhou your price went up- yet you haven't really gotten anything, or much in return...

Plus... you would need to come to the station personally to buy a ticket. And if you want to make sure you get on train you need, you would need to do so few days ahead ... Those who are familiar with the situation on roads in major Chinese cities would understand what it entails! For others - it cold take half of your day! Yes, traffic is that bad!
Or course there are some local offices that can assist you with this, but there is no guarantee you'll have it nearby, you need to know where it is (where you suppose to get that info?!) plus you'd pay premium for "pleasure". Why there are NO sales over the internet (like for the plane tickets) is beyond me!

So to cut very long story short.
1. I seriously doubt that there are ANY CRH trains that run empty or half empty (they would simply cancel those) on regular basis.
2. The proof-pictures are hoax/lie - choose what ever you want along these lines.
3. Yes the whole CRH system still goes through growth/birth pains and there are many things that should be adjusted and improved. But there is a progress... may be not quite as fast as one would want, but it is there.
4. Yes some, quite many actually, who are pissed at the whole thing. Because of increasing prices, and declining (as some say, and sometimes They are correct) quality of service - on G31 train from Beijing to Shanghai train only half of toilets were open. (in every second car) so people on these long (9+ hour) trip serviced by CRH1 had to do a lot or running and toilets became dirty and smelly rather fast.

But all-in-all it is still great system with huge potential! Especially if they increase subsidies for tickets to increase ridership!
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Old November 17th, 2010, 06:08 PM   #3862
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fragel View Post
I just found some pictures of high speed rail construction on a Chinese photograph forum (bbs.xiangshu.com). Seems there are a few photographers interested in rail construction. I am going to post some of their work here(pic credits given to each photographer), hope this would not interrupt any ongoing discussion.
Are you kidding me? Please post as many as you can. They are awesome.



About the ridership, there are a few official reports about ridership, you can find them in this topic. And you can find the ticket prices everywhere, again even in this very topic. Judge for yourself.
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Old November 17th, 2010, 06:15 PM   #3863
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Yichang-Wanzhou PDL
photos taken by suangyun in Yichang
When shall it open for service?
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Old November 17th, 2010, 06:43 PM   #3864
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@SimFox: very well said! You covered many topics and I agreed to most of what you said.

MOR (or TDB) is constantly under criticism by Chinese passengers. many people link unreasonable things done by MOR with its market dominance and outdated bureaucratic system. For instance, the online booking system was said to be ready at least next year, well I figure they didn't have the motivation to do so earlier, and there are concerns about those 'Huang Niu' (ticket scalpers) abusing such systems. But had they been as dedicated as the construction workers, this would already have been solved. management is indeed far from first-class and there is so much space for improvement.


but when it comes to railway construction, that is a different story. MOR gives better hardwares than softwares, something makes wonder if they really need to break up into two companies.
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Last edited by fragel; November 17th, 2010 at 06:49 PM.
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Old November 17th, 2010, 06:44 PM   #3865
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When shall it open for service?
I knew you were gonna ask But I am as clueless as you. My guess is the end of this month.
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Old November 17th, 2010, 07:16 PM   #3866
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MOR (or TDB) is constantly under criticism by Chinese passengers. many people link unreasonable things done by MOR with its market dominance and outdated bureaucratic system.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fragel View Post
But had they been as dedicated as the construction workers, this would already have been solved. management is indeed far from first-class and there is so much space for improvement.

but when it comes to railway construction, that is a different story. MOR gives better hardwares than softwares, something makes wonder if they really need to break up into two companies.
But the dedication of construction workers cannot repair poor decisions as to where they are told to build railways.
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Old November 17th, 2010, 07:50 PM   #3867
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I don't understand what you mean by 'poor decisions as to where they are told to build railways', maybe you could share some examples? from my understanding the criticism and complaints are rather focused on the pricing, booking and general service.
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Old November 17th, 2010, 09:37 PM   #3868
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Originally Posted by Luli Pop View Post

+1

I agree!

Please asian friends, don´t keep thinking of ¨west¨ as a whole.
On one side it´s US and UK with they're particular cosmovision, and on the other side continental Europe.

Their social systems and educational levels are very diffent as well as moral standards. UK+US have double standards.

The it's latin America, and even some countries of former URSS that are definitively not eastern.

shitty press of UK and US is not press but governments right wing propaganda. as well as Nobel Prize and the Vatican.

I´m ¨western caucasian¨ but I´m not an idiot and know last Nobel Prizes from literatura one to peace one are almost McArthists and given by the extreme right of the US to its servents (even if it´s ceremony and foundation are in Scandinavia).

Regarding the Vatican, I perfectly remember when the pope did a massive beatification of 100 chinese that fought against comunism (beatification have never been done in mass before).

I´m sad to say that people behind this are evil, but it´s true.

I wonder if Hypertroll will recieve a Nobel Prize anytime soon...
Agree, and point taken, should'nt paint all media in a single brush.

I agree with you and I mainly refer to the "American & sometime UK" media, particularly the so call main stream media in these countries (and Canada is also taking a turn for the worse in recent years).

I guess I (and I suspect many asians living in the west like me) am just gettng quite frustrated after 30 years of observing how they performed in this category. You would think that they would have learned something from after being wrong on China for 30 years. And yes, I get that they are also politically motivated in their reporting too.

Last edited by stoneybee; November 17th, 2010 at 10:02 PM.
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Old November 17th, 2010, 09:54 PM   #3869
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I don't understand what you mean by 'poor decisions as to where they are told to build railways', maybe you could share some examples? from my understanding the criticism and complaints are rather focused on the pricing, booking and general service.
We need to take some of these complaints and criticism on the MOR with a grain of salt here. Normal Chinese people complaints about a lot of things just lile citizens from everywhere. That is just part of the human condition.

Some of them don't like what the MOR is doing simply because it is big and powerful, and probably because it is the only game in town. It is like a lot of people don't lile New York or a lot of people in Canada hates Toronto. People have a natural dislike for the big and strong, again part of the basic human condition.

Of course, not everything that MOR does is right or good. However, based on my own personal experience alone, China's MOR is a lot better than Amtrak and Via Rail of Canada, and even some of the European railway services that I have riden on, and that goes for both infrastructure and personal service, yes I do mean personal service.

Generally speaking, I found that I actually get better service in China than in the "west", again not to generalize for all the "west". This is especially true when it comes to governmental agencies.
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Old November 17th, 2010, 10:52 PM   #3870
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The railway on viaduct saves 50-60% of land compared with the ground based railway, eliminates level-crosses, reduces the risk of accidents, lets the animal pass through the railway freely, lets the trains run more smoothly, and finally it looks gorgeous.
While all this is true, it also hugely increases the amount of concrete used in the construction and hence the CO2 emissions. The amount given off by concrete is big enough that if the reason for the route's construction is environmental, then this kind of huge viaduct should not be used. You may not pay back the "carbon debt" vs. equivalent plane flights, even in 100 years.



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Originally Posted by Luli Pop View Post
I´m ¨western caucasian¨ but I´m not an idiot and know last Nobel Prizes from literatura one to peace one are almost McArthists and given by the extreme right of the US to its servents (even if it´s ceremony and foundation are in Scandinavia).
You mean like Barack Obama?


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Agree, and point taken, should'nt paint all media in a single brush.
I do not think this recent bad press is anti-Chinese. I think it is anti-HSR.

Most of the press in the UK and US is right wing. Both countries are proposing to spend a lot of public money on HSR projects, but the true right wing in both countries do not want this (insert your own oil conspiracies etc here).

So do not take this personally China - they are attacking our projects too. They think that if they can show your own mega-projects are not viable, it will discredit our own schemes.
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Old November 17th, 2010, 11:10 PM   #3871
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What idiot is gonna fall for those two pics? The first one you can see the train station's pillar outside the right hand windows, and a person's feet outside the left side window. The second pic you can see light shine at where that train attendant stands, indicating the door is open. Both pics were taken when the train is at the station, probably before boarding starts. Right now it's still pretty difficult to secure a HSR ticket for lines running around the Yangtze river delta. Low ridership?! Give me a break.
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Old November 18th, 2010, 12:13 AM   #3872
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A few weeks or months after an HSR line opens is the wrong way to evaluate whether they are a success. Transportation infrastructure is always a long-term investment, one of the longest term investments anywhere except maybe building a dam. If the trains were 90+% full at the beginning, that would be nice but indicate poor planning for expansion. China is less than 60% urban, still growing about 0.2% a year (0.2% out of 1.3 billion is a lot of people), and the HSR network is left than have completed.

The American interstate highway system is often compared to China's HSR system. It opened in the 1950s and has been wildly popular and economic successful. Take a look at pictures from my hometown of Austin when it first opened:

1959:
[IMG]http://i56.************/28jblfp.jpg[/IMG]

1957:
[IMG]http://i55.************/5lywqp.jpg[/IMG]

Look how empty it was! Today it is packed from 7 AM to 9 PM, bumper to bumper many times. It would have been wrong to deem I-35 a failure and waste of money in 1957, so don't do the same thing for China's HSR network until at least five years have passed.

SimFox and Fragel, email the Washington Post. The piece everyone is criticizing was an op-ed and it is normal for papers to publish letters to the editor in response. Better yet, write you own articulate defense and justification of the HSR network to publish as it's own full length op-ed. Few laypeople read SSC but a lot read the Washington Post. Defending China's HSR network on SSC is preaching to the choir, you should take your case to the larger public.

Last edited by Geography; November 18th, 2010 at 08:49 AM.
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Old November 18th, 2010, 01:02 AM   #3873
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luli Pop View Post

+1

I agree!

Please asian friends, don´t keep thinking of ¨west¨ as a whole.
On one side it´s US and UK with they're particular cosmovision, and on the other side continental Europe.

Their social systems and educational levels are very diffent as well as moral standards. UK+US have double standards.

The it's latin America, and even some countries of former URSS that are definitively not eastern.

shitty press of UK and US is not press but governments right wing propaganda. as well as Nobel Prize and the Vatican.

I´m ¨western caucasian¨ but I´m not an idiot and know last Nobel Prizes from literatura one to peace one are almost McArthists and given by the extreme right of the US to its servents (even if it´s ceremony and foundation are in Scandinavia).

Regarding the Vatican, I perfectly remember when the pope did a massive beatification of 100 chinese that fought against comunism (beatification have never been done in mass before).

I´m sad to say that people behind this are evil, but it´s true.

I wonder if Hypertroll will recieve a Nobel Prize anytime soon...
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is a puppet of the American right wing? lol. The right wing that just doesn't like Obama, but hates him with the passion you put to anti-american trolling.

try better next time with the conspiracy theories.
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Last edited by dumbfword; November 18th, 2010 at 01:09 AM.
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Old November 18th, 2010, 01:20 AM   #3874
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The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is a puppet of the American right wing? lol. The right wing that just doesn't like Obama, but hates him with the passion you put to anti-american trolling.

try better next time with the conspiracy theories.
Hey the swedes doesn't give the peace price, that's our brothers in norway responsibility.
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Old November 18th, 2010, 01:31 AM   #3875
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The Washington Post had one of their columnists declare China was at fault for the Western financial crisis. How? Because China invested in US treasuries, it kept interests rates low. People who couldn't afford an over-price house bought one anyway because of the attractiveness of low interest loans. How is China to blame for that? Did China put a gun to American's head at some point? Did China force American banks to give loans to people they knew couldn't pay? What they're saying is basically an oil company can be held responsible for a drunk driver hitting and killing a little girl with his car. If the oil company didn't produce gasoline for the drunk driver to use, he would have never hit the little girl with his car and killed her. The Washington Post basically declared tha no one in the US is personally responsible for their own decisions. Anyone else is to be blamed for their bad decisions. Bernie Madoff is not at fault for his Ponzi scheme nor those on Wall Street and London who came up with the loan schemes knowing full well that the US governemnet was going to pay them back for any losses from bad loans. Yeah, nothing of this financial crisis was their fault because they can't be held responsible for their own decisions. And right before this financial crisis, they were bragging about how their system was so advanced that it was self-regulating. Doesn't that require someone at least to have responsible decision making powers? And yet what they say couldn't happen did.

The New York Times and the Washington Post are the most esteemed newspapers in the US. And look at the bull they dish out. If they can't have a critical self-reflecting view of problems of their own system's making like a child trying to point the finger at someone else for their own bad behavior, can anyone really think they have a sound view of a country half way around the world? And on top of that they both clearly are trying to shape US policy like William Randolph Hearst did when he started the Spanish-American War. Non-bias responsible press my azz!

Last edited by Bandit; November 18th, 2010 at 01:39 AM.
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Old November 18th, 2010, 03:01 AM   #3876
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Hey the swedes doesn't give the peace price, that's our brothers in norway responsibility.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee is just another arm of the American right wing. Didn't you know?
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Old November 18th, 2010, 03:15 AM   #3877
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What idiot is gonna fall for those two pics?
sadly many. well they are not idiots, they just believe what they wanna believe.
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Old November 18th, 2010, 03:18 AM   #3878
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The New York Times and the Washington Post are the most esteemed newspapers in the US. And look at the bull they dish out. If they can't have a critical self-reflecting view of problems of their own system's making like a child trying to point the finger at someone else for their own bad behavior, can anyone really think they have a sound view of a country half way around the world? And on top of that they both clearly are trying to shape US policy like William Randolph Hearst did when he started the Spanish-American War. Non-bias responsible press my azz!
One thing I learnt over a few years is that one should never, NEVER rely on a single newspaper, channel or other source of information. This is regardless what political stream or interest groups it represents. Even if we would assume that there is no possibility to publish false information on purpose there is always a chance of a human error or simply lack of professionalism. I have noticed this too many times.

Media is a tool for manipulation and it's good to understand that and take into account when reading ANY piece of information. Articles about expansion of hi-speed railways is no exception.
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Old November 18th, 2010, 05:59 AM   #3879
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I think we should get back on topic now.
Are there other maintance/research trains (ie Dr. Yellow) other than the CRH5?
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Old November 18th, 2010, 06:34 AM   #3880
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One thing I learnt over a few years is that one should never, NEVER rely on a single newspaper, channel or other source of information. This is regardless what political stream or interest groups it represents. Even if we would assume that there is no possibility to publish false information on purpose there is always a chance of a human error or simply lack of professionalism. I have noticed this too many times.

Media is a tool for manipulation and it's good to understand that and take into account when reading ANY piece of information. Articles about expansion of hi-speed railways is no exception.
These days most newspapers in the US get their stories from the Associated Press, New York Times, and the Washington Post. When one writes it, everyone else follows.
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