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Old January 9th, 2011, 07:11 AM   #4201
Silly_Walks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asif iqbal View Post
i really like how in china everything is very clean and organised, i would like to take a train journey inside china
Woah woah woah... everything?
I'm gonna warn you right now, so you don't get disappointed, but lots of parts of China are very dirty

Singapore or Hong Kong are much more clean and organised. No throat scraping and spitting right in front of your feet
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Old January 9th, 2011, 06:29 PM   #4202
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i really like how in china everything is very clean and organised, i would like to take a train journey inside china
One word of advice for the next time that you go there on holiday - *DON'T* buy a 'hard seat' ticket on a local/regional conventional train in China!



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Old January 10th, 2011, 06:08 AM   #4203
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One word of advice for the next time that you go there on holiday - *DON'T* buy a 'hard seat' ticket on a local/regional conventional train in China!



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No kidding, rule of thumb is only ride CRH trains which start with D or G, although most T trains are okay too.
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Old January 10th, 2011, 04:17 PM   #4204
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No kidding, rule of thumb is only ride CRH trains which start with D or G, although most T trains are okay too.
And don't argue why you can't get a ticket for a D train that's much cheaper but not much slower than a G train going the same way even if 300+ seats are still empty. Just be a good boy/girl and pay the MOR what they want.
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Old January 10th, 2011, 06:53 PM   #4205
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Even when all of them are ultra-cheap by Western standards.
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Old January 11th, 2011, 12:33 AM   #4206
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Even when all of them are ultra-cheap by Western standards.
Judging from the GDP figures the pricing of CRH tickets in China is certainly not very expensive for local passengers. People will always complain about something being too expensive even if you make ticket from Beijing to Shanghai cost $1. And considering that CRH trains and infrastructure is not just an ordinary train but a top-notch HSR system which in qualitative terms is comparable to Japanese Shinkansen and some European systems then it really looks cheap regardless of what perspective you look at it.
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Old January 11th, 2011, 04:54 AM   #4207
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Judging from the GDP figures the pricing of CRH tickets in China is certainly not very expensive for local passengers. People will always complain about something being too expensive even if you make ticket from Beijing to Shanghai cost $1. And considering that CRH trains and infrastructure is not just an ordinary train but a top-notch HSR system which in qualitative terms is comparable to Japanese Shinkansen and some European systems then it really looks cheap regardless of what perspective you look at it.
I sure agree, a stupidly slow train ride from Seattle to Portland can cost between $40 and $50, and from my experience TGV price are pretty ridiculous too, though they do offer pretty good discount to regular riders and students.

The point is, HSR is not designed for everybody, especially low income population. It's not a government welfare system that suppose to make everyone's trip super cheap and super quick. The reality is that if you can't afford it, there are other options out there. The system currently only has the capacity to serve a relatively small portion of China's travelers, and there are plenty of people who can afford the ticket to use up all that capacity.
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Old January 11th, 2011, 05:10 AM   #4208
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The point is, HSR is not designed for everybody, especially low income population. It's not a government welfare system that suppose to make everyone's trip super cheap and super quick. The reality is that if you can't afford it, there are other options out there. The system currently only has the capacity to serve a relatively small portion of China's travelers, and there are plenty of people who can afford the ticket to use up all that capacity.
That is the problem. Lack of choice is what people complain about the most. To make way for HSR, MoR stopped some D-trains. Situation on Nanjing-Shanghai ICL is the worst, all D-trains were canceled, and tickets for low-speed conventional trains are extremely difficult to purchase. At least on this line the authorities haven't figured out a way to balance all traveling needs.

On some other lines (such as Shanghai-Hangzhou HSR) things are better. Actually I think we can use the long-distance bus as a benchmark to see if railway service meets the intercity transportation needs. Long distance buses became more popular on Nanjing-Shanghai line after low-speed conventional trains were canceled. But long distance bus companies had to offer discounts to attract passengers right after Hainan East-ring ICL opened.
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Old January 11th, 2011, 05:33 AM   #4209
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I sure agree, a stupidly slow train ride from Seattle to Portland can cost between $40 and $50, and from my experience TGV price are pretty ridiculous too, though they do offer pretty good discount to regular riders and students.

The point is, HSR is not designed for everybody, especially low income population. It's not a government welfare system that suppose to make everyone's trip super cheap and super quick. The reality is that if you can't afford it, there are other options out there. The system currently only has the capacity to serve a relatively small portion of China's travelers, and there are plenty of people who can afford the ticket to use up all that capacity.
Agreed. China is pursuing an excellent strategy of diversified ways of traveling: expressway network, HSR trains, ordinary trains, buses, flights... pretty much all possible means of transport. Those to whom CRH trains are too expensive can take slower trains (which still are pretty fast) or if there is no such option they can take buses. There are plenty of options for every taste and income level it seems. And even if there are some problems (mentioned by fragel) I guess it's impossible to achieve 100% satisfaction level, especially when all of China's major infrastructure (expressways, HSR) is either U/C of was completed recently. This is a colossal challenge of engineering, planning and implementation unprecedented in the world history therefore it would be naive to expect that everything would run without glitches.
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Old January 11th, 2011, 10:06 AM   #4210
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Hare Year

The Tiger Year shall end in 23 days.

Are the New Year schedules known now?
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Old January 11th, 2011, 05:50 PM   #4211
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pansori View Post
Agreed. China is pursuing an excellent strategy of diversified ways of traveling: expressway network, HSR trains, ordinary trains, buses, flights... pretty much all possible means of transport. Those to whom CRH trains are too expensive can take slower trains (which still are pretty fast) or if there is no such option they can take buses. There are plenty of options for every taste and income level it seems. And even if there are some problems (mentioned by fragel) I guess it's impossible to achieve 100% satisfaction level, especially when all of China's major infrastructure (expressways, HSR) is either U/C of was completed recently. This is a colossal challenge of engineering, planning and implementation unprecedented in the world history therefore it would be naive to expect that everything would run without glitches.
Tickets for slow trains are extremely hard to come by. Take the Shanghai - Nanjing line for example, there are hardly any D- or ordinary journeys, and the ones that do exist are long-distance trains whose tickets are restricted between Shanghai - Nanjing for longer-distance travellers, and further restricted to force people onto the more expensive yet not much faster G trains.

A choice between a fast but expensive train and a cheap but slow coach journey (4h+ between Shanghai and Nanjing) is hardly what I'd call choice. Choice to me would be something that at least half resembles a continuous spectrum.

The current situation is not due to some planning or operational difficulties, but purely a result of the MOR sticking up two fingers at the people.
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Old January 11th, 2011, 11:50 PM   #4212
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Are there no bus routes for the directions you mentioned?
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Old January 12th, 2011, 01:03 AM   #4213
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Are there no bus routes for the directions you mentioned?
I mentioned coaches didn't I? Cheaper than HSR but much much slower. For example Shanghai - Nanjing by coach would take 4 hours costing ¥100 (more expensive than the ¥93 D trains incidentally), whereas a G train takes about 90 minutes costing ¥146.
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Old January 12th, 2011, 01:18 AM   #4214
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I just don't get what is the problem then. The "fare hikes"? That's just strange. Are they expecting trains to be free or something? Suburban railway fares from my location to central London gone up by 30% alone last year (officially "not increased on average") and by about 250-300% since 2004 (the trains stayed the same as they were 30 years ago thogh). Isn't that a little bit of knit-picking (or shall we say bitching) to complain about a 50% increase from 93 Yuan for a 300km journey with a contemporary HSR train? And those who are really that poor not to afford it can resort to a coach journey. That's the reality of life. Or were Chinese that spoiled for choice and options in the past?
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Old January 12th, 2011, 01:27 AM   #4215
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If I were happy about London fare hikes I would be knit-picking and indeed bitching, but I'm not.

The 50% increase in fare from D to G train isn't reflected in significant faster journeys and the trains are pretty much the same. Also underneath the fancy GDP figures ordinary Chinese folks' purchasing power is still quite low, and such massive fare hikes are rather difficult to absorb. Public transport should be provided as a social good that reflects the financial ability of its users.
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Old January 12th, 2011, 01:40 AM   #4216
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Only thing I understand is that an instant 50% fare rise may be a little bit shocking from a psychological point of view. It may have needed a transitional period lasting one year or so... still ultimatelly this is by no means a bad deal. The question is how the fares will be kept in the future? Are they going to rise like crazy (like in London area) or are they going to be kept at a level not to stir public anger.

And the ordinary folk who really cannot afford the extra 50 Yuan will have to use the 4hr buses then... that's the reality. Just like I rent a VW and not an Audi when looking for a rental car during my holidays... those who still cannot afford even a coach will have to resort to cycling or walking. Unless you are trying to imply that everyone should get everything for free? I thought China abandoned the hardline communism 30 years ago?
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Old January 12th, 2011, 03:41 AM   #4217
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They haven't raised the prices since 1990 before the recent price hike. It's long overdue, with a much better rail system nowadays compared to before, and well below inflation.
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Old January 12th, 2011, 04:00 AM   #4218
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They haven't raised the prices since 1990 before the recent price hike.
Is it really true? That just doesn't sound possible! If so in 1990 it must have looked very expensive.

Anyway if this is true and there were no fare rises for a decade or so then I guess it is laughable to complain about anything. Especially once you get a faster and generally better mean of transport.
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Old January 12th, 2011, 04:47 AM   #4219
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pansori View Post
Only thing I understand is that an instant 50% fare rise may be a little bit shocking from a psychological point of view. It may have needed a transitional period lasting one year or so... still ultimatelly this is by no means a bad deal. The question is how the fares will be kept in the future? Are they going to rise like crazy (like in London area) or are they going to be kept at a level not to stir public anger.

And the ordinary folk who really cannot afford the extra 50 Yuan will have to use the 4hr buses then... that's the reality. Just like I rent a VW and not an Audi when looking for a rental car during my holidays... those who still cannot afford even a coach will have to resort to cycling or walking. Unless you are trying to imply that everyone should get everything for free? I thought China abandoned the hardline communism 30 years ago?
Nanjing-Shanghai ICL is really a special case. I don't see other HSRs face so many complaints. First of all it is not a REAL 350 km/h HSR, but the price is determined on 350km/h level. Also I think it would be better for MOR to keep some D-trains instead of canceling all D-trains or slow trains.

About the pricing policy of train tickets in China, you might be interested in knowing some background.

As many other public merchandises in China, ticket prices for trains in service do not fluctuate. It is almost impossible for MOR to increase the fare once it set the original price years ago. That is why the slow conventional trains have been operating in deficit, because the fare has been the same for over a decade, while other merchandise and salary and thus the cost to run a train have grown many folds. Even if the cost of operation increases, MOR cannot increase fare or do anything but suck up. During spring festival periods (several years ago) MOR increased the fare due to high demand, and it faced severe criticism and was even sued, so it had to abolish such temporary fare increase policy.

I believe this is one main reason why MOR tends to set a rather high fare for new types of services, because they know that the new fare is going to stay the same for many years, and setting new fare is the only chance they have to compensate for their financial loss in the future.

On one hand MOR is regarded as a public serving department which is not supposed to make money but to provide service only. On the other hand it is criticized for its bureaucracy and inflexible policies. To some people on Chinese forums, MOR=evil. And on Chinese forums, criticizing MOR is always politically correct.
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Last edited by fragel; January 12th, 2011 at 05:13 AM.
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Old January 12th, 2011, 04:51 AM   #4220
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Quote:
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They haven't raised the prices since 1990 before the recent price hike. It's long overdue, with a much better rail system nowadays compared to before, and well below inflation.
1990 sounds too exaggerated. There was one fare increase in late 90's, but since then ticket fare for old slow trains basically stayed the same till this day.
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