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Old January 17th, 2011, 01:40 PM   #4281
makita09
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Originally Posted by NCT View Post
I'm pretty sure the two types of trains are technologically compatible, and theoretically there should be no reason why conventional trains can't access the new stations.
The conventional trains may be incompatible with the in-cab signalling technology required for the high speed lines. The stations could be dual signalled, but I don't remember seing any colour-light signals at any of the CRH stations in the pictures.

Without colour light signals the old trains need in-cab electronics fitted.
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Old January 17th, 2011, 03:19 PM   #4282
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A long way to go
17 January 2011
China Daily - Hong Kong Edition

Millions of migrant workers rely on the nation's slow trains to return to families for the Spring Festival. But will these trains survive the rapid upgrading of the rail network? Gao Qihui reports.

With the Spring Festival nearing, Yang Yongfen joined millions of others across the nation to return home, in what is seen as the world's biggest annual human migration, to usher in the New Year. Yang spend at least 30 hours to travel 1,946 km from Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang province, to Anshun of Guizhou province in Southwest China, by slow train.

Yang and her 7-year-old son, along with her younger sister and her brother's little daughter, crammed into a 1-square-meter space at the entrance to the carriage, sharing two small foldable travel stools between them.

Yang took the train on Dec 31, 2010, 20 days before the peak travel season, but still found it difficult to find space inside the carriage.

Even as the train started moving, several passengers carrying big suitcases high above their heads, tried to snake through the crowd squashed up against the side of the carriage, looking for any space to put down their luggage.

Almost all the passengers spoke in the dialects popular in Southwest China, including Sichuan and Guizhou provinces, the source of the nation's millions of migrant workers.

For these low-income earners, the cost of travel is an overriding consideration. Yang, the plainly dressed 37-year-old mother, who works as a migrant worker in Hangzhou, chose the slow train No 1271, for it offered the cheapest way to get to her hometown, with a standing-room-only ticket costing only 107 yuan ($16.24).

Yang would have had to pay an additional 210 yuan for berths but "we wanted to save that money", she says.

The fares on China's slow trains, marked by their distinct green color, are the lowest but lack heating and take longer to cover the same distance as others.

"I don't mind the time it takes," said Jiang Bo, a 23-year-old man who sat on the train for at least 44 hours before arriving at his home in Sichuan's Zigong city.

He would have had to pay about 200 yuan more for a fast train and a transfer to a bus to get home. He said that was not an economical choice, pointing out his garment factory job earns him less than 100 yuan a day. Jiang Long, a 21-year-old with barely enough room to stand, said cheerfully: "Last year when I took this train, it was more crowded. I couldn't even bend. It is much better today."

Slow trains are so-called not because they run slowly but because they take longer to reach their destination. They have to make more stops - at small cities and towns that fast trains do not pass or pass through without stopping.

Without the slow train, these passengers would have to first travel to the big cities and then take the fast train, a time-consuming and costly option.

But with China upgrading its railway network, these slow trains are slowly being phased out.

Seven such trains starting from Beijing were cancelled in July, 2010.

A report in the Beijing Times on June 29, 2010, quoted the Deputy Director General of Beijing Railway Bureau Liu Ruiyang as saying that from July 1, 2010, all slow trains entering Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou of Guangdong province would be replaced.

According to the latest railway map, the No 1271 has already been replaced by the faster and better K1271.

China's high-speed railway network now stretches 8,358 km, and will be extended by nearly 5,000 km more in 2011.

At present, there are nearly 1,200 China Railway High-speed trains - with speeds higher than 200 km/h - running on the nation's railways every day.

But the upgrade also means higher fares. The priciest tickets on a high-speed train, that began operating on Jan 11 between Shanghai and Chengdu, will cost as much as 2,330 yuan ($353.64), with the cheapest going for 501 yuan.

Reacting with incredulity at the fare, Luo Yinguo, a 53-year-old working in a leather factory in Wenzhou city of Zhejiang province, asks: "Is that a five-star train?"

Luo says he dare not think about it, as the priciest ticket equals his monthly earnings.

But faster railway transportation "is a national strategy, aimed at meeting the demands of economic and social development", says Xia Xueluan, sociology professor at Peking University.

According to Ji Jialun at Beijing Jiaotong University, "China's development of high-speed railways will leave more room on the track for freight trains.

"Currently, the railways' freight transportation capacity meets only 35 percent of national demand," Ji says.

"To allow one passenger train to run, we have to cancel two freight trains," he says.

At present all rail lines, except the newly built high-speed-train-only lines, are open to both passenger and freight trains, which restricts the development of freight transportation.

The phasing-out of slow passenger trains will leave more room for freight trains, Ji says.

Professor Hu Xingdou, at the Beijing Institute of Technology, feels both freight and passenger transportation need to be expanded. Hu told China Daily that the construction of the rail network in mid-western China is already insufficient to meet demand.

The problem will worsen if more passenger trains are taken off the tracks in this region, he adds.

In fact, it is this region that is home to most of China's low-income groups and the one that generates the most demand for slow trains.

Some experts have suggested the use of buses over trains.

But Luo Yinguo, the leather factory worker in Wenzhou, dismisses this saying, "It is too expensive".

A coach bus to his home in Zhaotong city, Yunnan province, will cost more than 350 yuan.

And during peak travel periods, such as the Spring Festival holiday, prices could rise to as much as 800 yuan, according to Luo. In contrast, a slow train such as the old No 1271, costs less than 200 yuan.

Even the hard-seat ticket on its replacement, the K1271, is not likely to surpass 400 yuan.

Bus travel is also seen as less safe than travel by train, Luo says.

However, Xia of Peking University believes that as living standards rise, more people will gradually accept the price of fast high-speed trains.

"It is just a matter of time," he says.

But besides cost, another concern for Luo is whether the new train will still stop at Zhaotong.

On the line between Wuhan, in Central China's Hubei province, and Guangzhou of South China's Guangdong province, the normal fast train K769 stops at 26 stations but the new high-speed train G1021 has only four stops.

The many county-level stations is one reason Hu at the Beijing Institute of Technology cites for keeping the slow trains.

Agreeing with him, Ji, of Beijing Jiaotong University, says some short-distance branch lines, without much freight traffic, should be kept open for the slow trains.

Meanwhile, despite the expansion of the high-speed rail network, migrant workers can still take their preferred cheaper slow trains.

During the Spring Festival travel rush, the Ministry of Railways always adds more train services in the main migrant labor hubs such as Sichuan, Henan and Anhui provinces.

For the 2011 Spring Festival travel season, for example, 123 more trains will be put into service by Beijing Railway Bureau, according to its transport plan released on Jan 5.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 04:12 PM   #4283
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Maglev link plan is suspended
By Zha Minjie | 2011-1-19




CONSTRUCTION of a Maglev train link between Shanghai and Hangzhou City in Zhejiang Province is to be shelved, an official has revealed.

"It was a decision made by the central government after research by Zhejiang Provincial Development and Reform Commission," Liu Ting, deputy director of the commission, told China News Service.

He declined to comment on whether the decision was influenced by the opening of the Shanghai-Hangzhou high-speed railway last October.

The planned 35 billion yuan (US$5.3 billion) Maglev service would take 38 minutes to travel from Shanghai to Hangzhou, only 10 minutes faster than high-speed trains.

Many people have said that it was unnecessary to spend tens of billions of yuan just to save 10 minutes.

This is not the first twist in the tale of the Maglev link between Shanghai and Zhejiang's capital city.

First approved by the State Council in 2006, the 175-kilometer Maglev line - which would be an extension of Shanghai's Maglev route - was suspended in 2007 as residents along the line feared it would emit radiation and were concerned about noise.

An assessment by environmental authorities, however, said the project was safe.

Sun Zhang, a rail professor with the city's Tongji University, said "Maglev is quieter than high-speed trains."

The noise made by Maglev trains at 400km per hour is about the same that of a high-speed railway train at 300km per hour, Sun said.

"It seems as though everyone wants to enjoy the higher speed but no one wants the line outside their front doors," said Sun.

The Maglev has a top speed of 450 kilometers an hour, but is limited to 200 kilometers an hour in downtown areas.

Shanghai has the country's only operational Maglev line, the 30-kilometer stretch linking Metro Line 2's Longyang Road station to Pudong International Airport.

The journey takes about eight minutes.
http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article...894&type=Metro
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Old January 20th, 2011, 05:31 PM   #4284
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Good, now get your acts together and finish that damn Pudong-Hongqiao line!
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Old January 20th, 2011, 06:07 PM   #4285
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Good, now get your acts together and finish that damn Pudong-Hongqiao line!
Yeah i don't understand... the proposed plan sometimes says it would be a Pudong-Hongqiao-Hangzhou line. But there is no mention of the Pudong-Hongqiao part.

The current connection between Pudong and Hongqiao is just too slow.

Besides... doesn't the Hongqiao HSR station already have a nice spot reserved for the Maglev line?
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Old January 20th, 2011, 06:24 PM   #4286
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Integrating South-East Asia

China coming down the tracks

A railway boom promises to tie South-East Asia together—and boost China’s sway
Jan 20th 2011 | BANGKOK | from PRINT EDITION



THE rapid expansion of its high-speed railways has got China plenty of attention. Yet ambitions do not stop at the border. On its southern flank China is renewing a push to lay tracks to mainland South-East Asia. The region’s leaders have dreamed since the 1990s of seamless rail travel between Singapore and Kunming, capital of the south-western Chinese province of Yunnan. South-East Asia’s existing network of railways is creaking, patchy and underfunded. Most goods move about the region by lorry and ship. But that creates choke points while running up fuel bills. An integrated rail system could be just the ticket.

Enter China, chequebook in hand. It has recently signed agreements to build new lines in Laos and Thailand, while it extends its network from Kunming to the China-Laos border. These lines are meant to be ready by 2015. The benefits may be huge. Most countries along the route have already hitched their wagons to China’s outsize economy and are eager for more trade. China’s free-trade agreement with the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), which took effect a year ago, has cut tariffs on most traded goods. The region still has natural resources, which China is keen to strip.

Empire-builders love railways. Most of South-East Asia’s were laid during colonial rule, as Britain and France pushed inland. In a region with American leanings, China wants to bind its neighbours into an economic sphere with strategic weight. Laying lines into Myanmar, with a large but decrepit network, would add a coveted Indian Ocean port. More regional trade with its centre in Yunnan spreads wealth inland, another Chinese objective. Trains already shuttle between China and Vietnam, which has a north-south railway. This linkage opens up the possibility of a circuitous eastern route into South-East Asia, via Cambodia and Thailand. Both countries belong to the Greater Mekong Subregion, a grouping fostered by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) that also includes Vietnam, China, Laos and Myanmar. According to the ADB, it would cost $1.1 billion to build the missing links along this route, making it the cheapest way to connect the region. Some $7 billion more would be needed to upgrade existing lines and rolling-stock. By 2014, once this route is operating, it would carry almost 7m tonnes of cargo among Greater Mekong countries, rising to 26m tonnes by 2025, the ADB reckons. Greater Mekong countries duly backed the plan in August.



Yet China quickly upended this consensus. In December Laos said China would build a $7 billion high-speed railway from the border to its capital, Vientiane. Construction is set to begin in April. Meanwhile, Thailand is negotiating with China to build a connecting north-south line to Bangkok, using concessionary Chinese loans. ADB officials are left scratching their heads over what this means for the Vietnam-Cambodia route, including a long stretch that China had been expected to build but which now appears to be on the back burner.

On paper, the Laos-Thailand route is more direct, but it is also far more mountainous, with 190 kilometres (120 miles) of tunnels in Laos and countless bridges. Remote areas of Laos are also littered with unexploded bombs from the Vietnam war. None of this is likely to stop a country that laid a railway up to the Tibetan plateau.

In Thailand the hazards are more political. To get around the mighty, hidebound state operator, the Thai government proposes a new line using Chinese technology to run parallel to the existing one. A Thai-Chinese entity would rent the land from the state operator and build its own signals and stations. Handily, the route would pass through Thailand’s poor and politically disaffected north-east, giving a shot in the arm to the local economy.

Thailand says that fast passenger trains would reach speeds of 200 kilometres an hour, streets ahead of what currently pass for express trains. Tourists could ride luxury carriages to exotic destinations. A fast train, says Korbsak Sabhavasu, the government’s chief negotiator, is something Thailand needed 20 years ago. But Thailand’s treacherous politics may yet intrude, as any final agreement with China needs the nod from parliament. In an election year, this is no certainty.

Tourists and trainspotters may be tickled by a fast train to China. Yet the real point of modernising the railways is cargo. Intra-ASEAN trade is growing much faster than exports to developed markets. Nearly a quarter of Thailand’s exports go to South-East Asia, with another 11% (and rising) to China. Trains are more efficient and less polluting than lorries on all but the shortest routes. Peter Broch of the ADB estimates that a rail service from Bangkok to Phnom Penh would cut the price of moving a container by two-thirds compared with moving it by ship and lorry, as now.

Even without a railway network, the region is tying itself together. Roads have been upgraded, and customs procedures are less tape-bound than they were before. When Wang Er-Chern began trading agricultural produce in northern Thailand in the early 1990s, it took two weeks to send goods by road and ship via Laos to his native Yunnan. Today the journey has been shaved to two days. Mr Wang, prominent in the Thai Yunnan Commerce Association, says a fast rail link to Kunming would be nice. But he grumbles that business has already become less profitable as more Chinese traders have got in on the act. A trainload more may soon be on the way.

from PRINT EDITION | Asia
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Old January 21st, 2011, 08:31 PM   #4287
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The prospects of a seemless railway into SE Asia are enticing, but then, I think it's more suited for cargo, unless they can run at CRH speeds for passenger service.
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Old January 22nd, 2011, 10:56 AM   #4288
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The prospects of a seemless railway into SE Asia are enticing, but then, I think it's more suited for cargo, unless they can run at CRH speeds for passenger service.
What is the expected track distance Kunming-Vientiane?
I have heard it aimed at 200 km/h, like Yichang-Wanzhou railway.
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Old January 24th, 2011, 11:26 PM   #4289
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The prospects of a seemless railway into SE Asia are enticing, but then, I think it's more suited for cargo, unless they can run at CRH speeds for passenger service.
I agree, passenger traffic probably won't be that high anyway due to visa issues, security situation etc. Most passenger probably gonna be between China and Thailand, and I bet tourists will prefer flying. On the other hand, cargo is definitely on the upswing, especially when Southeast Asian raw material is in high demand in China.
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Old January 24th, 2011, 11:44 PM   #4290
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I agree, passenger traffic probably won't be that high anyway due to visa issues, security situation etc. Most passenger probably gonna be between China and Thailand, and I bet tourists will prefer flying.
How about Chinese businessmen going to do business in Laos, and Lao migrant workers going to work in Yunnan?
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Old January 25th, 2011, 02:29 PM   #4291
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I agree, passenger traffic probably won't be that high anyway due to visa issues, security situation etc. Most passenger probably gonna be between China and Thailand, and I bet tourists will prefer flying. On the other hand, cargo is definitely on the upswing, especially when Southeast Asian raw material is in high demand in China.
I envision a cargo line to a Burmese port to ship out west. However, there needs to be more synergies with 3 country borders in the way.
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Old January 25th, 2011, 05:59 PM   #4292
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I envision a cargo line to a Burmese port to ship out west. However, there needs to be more synergies with 3 country borders in the way.
Are there any serious plans for a line between Yunnan and Burma crossing 1 border?
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Old January 25th, 2011, 06:38 PM   #4293
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Are there any serious plans for a line between Yunnan and Burma crossing 1 border?
Doubt it'll be viable though, and the ports on the Burmese side need some serious upgrades before they want to export cargo out of there!
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Old January 25th, 2011, 07:23 PM   #4294
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Doubt it'll be viable though,
Yunnan-Burma railway was under construction from 1938, and by November 1941 it was due for completion in 12...15 months.
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Old January 25th, 2011, 07:28 PM   #4295
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How about Chinese businessmen going to do business in Laos, and Lao migrant workers going to work in Yunnan?
I really don't think there are going to thousands of businessmen to fill the trains to justify the service, and don't quote me but I doubt there are any Lao migrant workers in China at the moment, at least not in significant numbers.
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Old January 26th, 2011, 06:41 PM   #4296
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I really don't think there are going to thousands of businessmen to fill the trains to justify the service, and don't quote me but I doubt there are any Lao migrant workers in China at the moment, at least not in significant numbers.
Migrant workers could not afford a 200km/h high-speed rail service.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 05:31 AM   #4297
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Old updates but great ones:



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Old January 27th, 2011, 06:25 AM   #4298
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Where is that supposed to be, foxmulder? It looks incredibly immensely gargantuan.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 07:45 AM   #4299
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@foxmulder:

those pictures feel so eerie and alien, they remind me of the incubator scene from The Matrix.

I hope the finished product will give a different look and feel.
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Old January 30th, 2011, 09:40 AM   #4300
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cross post
CCTV program about Yichang-Wanzhou Railway
[中国财经报道]飞驰在“空中”的列车
宜万铁路

video link(in Chinese)
http://jingji.cntv.cn/20110130/100157.shtml
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