daily menu » rate the banner | guess the city | one on oneforums map | privacy policy | DMCA | news magazine | posting guidelines

Go Back   SkyscraperCity > Infrastructure and Mobility Forums > Railways

Railways (Inter)national commuter and freight trains



Global Announcement

As a general reminder, please respect others and respect copyrights. Go here to familiarize yourself with our posting policy.


Reply

 
Thread Tools
Old October 21st, 2009, 06:27 PM   #161
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,891
Likes (Received): 18165

Quote:
Originally Posted by gramercy View Post
perhaps, but think about the long distance services that will continue from there all the way to (and back from) Guiyang (Chengdu-, Kunming-, Lanzhou-, Xi'An-Hong Kong) and Changsha (Wuhan-, Beijing-, Shanghai-Hong Kong)

in the future there will be plenty of very long distance services coming and going
I can probably train to Changsha, Wuhan (5 hours), and Nanning (4 hours), but the big cities such as Shanghai (8 hours) and Beijing (10 hours) are simply too far for HSR to be effective.

This means the catchment area for an expensive HSR link is actually limited. So I really wonder if they will recover the cost unless they really push the short journeys to Guangzhou.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links
Old October 21st, 2009, 06:39 PM   #162
gramercy
BANNED
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 4,823
Likes (Received): 799

Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
I can probably train to Changsha, Wuhan (5 hours), and Nanning (4 hours), but the big cities such as Shanghai (8 hours) and Beijing (10 hours) are simply too far for HSR to be effective.

This means the catchment area for an expensive HSR link is actually limited. So I really wonder if they will recover the cost unless they really push the short journeys to Guangzhou.
I disagree because of a couple of things:

- we should not just take todays HS network into account, think about when the above posted map is completed
- think about the above posted map at 350-360 maybe even 380 kph (the latter will probably not come for another decade but then neither is the entire network)
- yes it takes longer on HSR than on a plane, but it would also be (presumably) cheaper, and there are _plenty_ of people in china who would spend 2-3x more time on a train for half / third, especially compared to todays trains (which are already quite fast)
- there will also be night/sleeper trains accumulating on this line coming-and going from all directions and then the final leg is this new Foshan/Kanton-Hong Kong line
gramercy no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 22nd, 2009, 03:45 AM   #163
YannSZ
Shenzhen !
 
YannSZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Shenzhen
Posts: 805
Likes (Received): 1160

Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
I can probably train to Changsha, Wuhan (5 hours), and Nanning (4 hours), but the big cities such as Shanghai (8 hours) and Beijing (10 hours) are simply too far for HSR to be effective.
I would not mind at all taking the train at 23:00 sleeping in the train and waking up in Shanghai at 7:00!
YannSZ no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 22nd, 2009, 04:41 AM   #164
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,891
Likes (Received): 18165

Quote:
Originally Posted by gramercy View Post
I disagree because of a couple of things:

- we should not just take todays HS network into account, think about when the above posted map is completed
- think about the above posted map at 350-360 maybe even 380 kph (the latter will probably not come for another decade but then neither is the entire network)
- yes it takes longer on HSR than on a plane, but it would also be (presumably) cheaper, and there are _plenty_ of people in china who would spend 2-3x more time on a train for half / third, especially compared to todays trains (which are already quite fast)
- there will also be night/sleeper trains accumulating on this line coming-and going from all directions and then the final leg is this new Foshan/Kanton-Hong Kong line
Can the infrastructure handle even higher speeds? I recall conventional rail cannot handle today's high speeds, and new tracks need to be laid. Can we make this assumption so readily that today's rails can handle tomorrow's speeds?

I also think the government should not make these hypothetical assumptions when they calculate the cost-benefit. Who knows how far off their estimates will be? But then, today's politicians will be long gone when their hypothesis turns back on them years down the road.

Contrary to popular belief, long-distance trains are not cheap. The existing service to Beijing costs $574 one-way for the cheapest hard sleeper (not factoring in seasonal discounts). You can get a fare on a discount carrier for that price and save the time as well. I doubt with HSR the fares will come down much. The technology costs a lot of money to develop and to operate. If Guangzhou fares can only go down slightly, I doubt we will see much move for even longer-distance trains. There are a lot of poor people, such as migrant workers, that need to travel, but I don't see them using CRH at all. They would be taking the far cheaper local trains that get them to the small towns in the countryside.

If we look at Western Europe as a model, trains actually cost more than flying a discount carrier, even after factoring in transport costs to distant airports. Trains are more comfortable with better seats and city centre to city centre connections though. I envision what will emerge from China to be something similar.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 22nd, 2009, 02:17 PM   #165
aab7772003
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 773
Likes (Received): 7

In western Europe...

-There are practically no high speed train services between 2300 and 0500. You need downtime to perform track maintenance.
-VERY FEW passengers will take the train if the train ride lasts more than THREE hours. The longest high-density, high-speed shuttle train service in Europe is the Paris - Marseilles service.
-The very cheap high speed train fares are available until as late as a week before the actual departure dates. You almost always can travel on the days you want for very little money if you do the advance purchase and do not plan to travel on popular and peak-hours departures.
-Business travelers on business day trips are prime target customers of the high speed train services.

There is NO high-speed sleeper train services anywhere in this world.
The distance between Hong Kong and Beijing is about 2000 km. The trip will take at least FIVE hours with the current technological limitations. It will be very difficult to build such long distance lines that enable 400 km/hour travel. There is no time zone difference between Hong Kong and Beijing at all, which means that business day trips between Hong Kong and Beijing that involve AT LEAST 10 hours of commute will not be practical at all.

Last edited by aab7772003; October 22nd, 2009 at 02:52 PM.
aab7772003 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 22nd, 2009, 02:17 PM   #166
chornedsnorkack
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 4,974
Likes (Received): 388

Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Contrary to popular belief, long-distance trains are not cheap. The existing service to Beijing costs $574 one-way for the cheapest hard sleeper (not factoring in seasonal discounts). You can get a fare on a discount carrier for that price and save the time as well. I doubt with HSR the fares will come down much. The technology costs a lot of money to develop and to operate. If Guangzhou fares can only go down slightly, I doubt we will see much move for even longer-distance trains. There are a lot of poor people, such as migrant workers, that need to travel, but I don't see them using CRH at all. They would be taking the far cheaper local trains that get them to the small towns in the countryside.

If we look at Western Europe as a model, trains actually cost more than flying a discount carrier, even after factoring in transport costs to distant airports. Trains are more comfortable with better seats and city centre to city centre connections though. I envision what will emerge from China to be something similar.

Look at the route Beijing-Shanghai.

I can find 38 daily flights Beijing-Shanghai. The scheduled times are between 1:45 and 2:10. Airport to airport.

Prices are US$ 194 for economy. Discounted coach is slightly less, at US$ 180.

I can also find 10 daily trains on that route. Including 1 daytime express, 5 overnight expresses and 4 slower trains.

The overnight expresses take from 10:07 to 10:12. And the most expensive tickets, soft sleeper lower berths, are RMB 730, or about US$ 107. Half the price of a coach flight.

There are cheaper high-speed tickets, too. Second class seats are offered on the same trains for RMB 327, i. e. about US$ 47.

When high-speed overnight trains start sevice between Hong Kong and Shanghai or Beijing, how shall the prices compare against flying?
chornedsnorkack no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 22nd, 2009, 05:40 PM   #167
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,891
Likes (Received): 18165

Quote:
Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
Look at the route Beijing-Shanghai.

I can find 38 daily flights Beijing-Shanghai. The scheduled times are between 1:45 and 2:10. Airport to airport.

Prices are US$ 194 for economy. Discounted coach is slightly less, at US$ 180.

I can also find 10 daily trains on that route. Including 1 daytime express, 5 overnight expresses and 4 slower trains.

The overnight expresses take from 10:07 to 10:12. And the most expensive tickets, soft sleeper lower berths, are RMB 730, or about US$ 107. Half the price of a coach flight.

There are cheaper high-speed tickets, too. Second class seats are offered on the same trains for RMB 327, i. e. about US$ 47.

When high-speed overnight trains start sevice between Hong Kong and Shanghai or Beijing, how shall the prices compare against flying?
I don't see much room for tickets to fall. In fact, given the time savings, I expect prices to go up even.

Current fares for Beijing and Shanghai service :
http://www.it3.mtr.com.hk/B2C/UserPa...eTable_Eng.asp
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 22nd, 2009, 08:07 PM   #168
EricIsHim
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 4,397
Likes (Received): 28

HK$180 one-way does sound low to me, too. It is not just because the current system is more expensive, but the new system will be faster, more comfortable, and significantly higher construction cost. Logically, I would think it will cost more for better service.

Plus, there is also inflation in the next five to six year should be accounted for.
I just don't get how the HSR can be cheaper than the current system, unless it's political.
__________________
EricIsHim
My PhotoBucket

Last edited by EricIsHim; October 22nd, 2009 at 08:21 PM.
EricIsHim no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 22nd, 2009, 09:22 PM   #169
chornedsnorkack
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 4,974
Likes (Received): 388

Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
I don't see much room for tickets to fall. In fact, given the time savings, I expect prices to go up even.

Current fares for Beijing and Shanghai service :
http://www.it3.mtr.com.hk/B2C/UserPa...eTable_Eng.asp
Compare with the current prices Guangzhou to Beijing.

Train T16 now takes 22:06. Not an overnight train - it wastes the morning, arriving 14:56.

The best, lower soft sleeper is RMB 705 - said to be about US$ 87.

On that same route, flights take about 2:50 to 3:00 - and a coach ticket costs US$ 267.

When in December, Guangzhou-Wuhan HSL opens, it should be realistic to cut the trip time from 22 to 16 or 14 hours while still travelling on slow rails between Beijing and Wuhan.

And an 16 hour train would be more comfortable to plane. With the current prices, US$ 87 or US$ 267, there is a plenty of space for the high-speed train tickets to be more expensive than the slow trains, yet much much cheaper than airplanes.
chornedsnorkack no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2009, 05:21 AM   #170
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,891
Likes (Received): 18165

Quote:
Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
When in December, Guangzhou-Wuhan HSL opens, it should be realistic to cut the trip time from 22 to 16 or 14 hours while still travelling on slow rails between Beijing and Wuhan.

And an 16 hour train would be more comfortable to plane. With the current prices, US$ 87 or US$ 267, there is a plenty of space for the high-speed train tickets to be more expensive than the slow trains, yet much much cheaper than airplanes.
While I need more comfort for 16 hours on a train, the same trip by plane will take only 2-3. It's a huge difference.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2009, 11:02 AM   #171
chornedsnorkack
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 4,974
Likes (Received): 388

Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
While I need more comfort for 16 hours on a train, the same trip by plane will take only 2-3. It's a huge difference.
Yes - by day.

The first plane in the morning departs Guangzhou at 8:00, reaching Beijing at 10:50. And the last plane in the evening departs Guangzhou at 20:00 and arrives at 22:55.

Which means that a train could take 14:50 to travel Guangzhou-Beijing, and still leave after last plane in the evening and arrive before the first plane in the morning.

Is it feasible?

On the existing, slow rails between Wuchang and Beijing, trains Z12 and Z38 cover the 1231 km distance in 9:56.

Which means that to beat the 14:50 time between evening and morning flight, a train must cover the 968 km HSR Guangzhou-Wuchang in 4:54.

And a test train did it in 3:05. 4:54 is eminently feasible in service.
chornedsnorkack no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2009, 09:36 PM   #172
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,891
Likes (Received): 18165

Quote:
Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
Yes - by day.

The first plane in the morning departs Guangzhou at 8:00, reaching Beijing at 10:50. And the last plane in the evening departs Guangzhou at 20:00 and arrives at 22:55.

Which means that a train could take 14:50 to travel Guangzhou-Beijing, and still leave after last plane in the evening and arrive before the first plane in the morning.

Is it feasible?

On the existing, slow rails between Wuchang and Beijing, trains Z12 and Z38 cover the 1231 km distance in 9:56.

Which means that to beat the 14:50 time between evening and morning flight, a train must cover the 968 km HSR Guangzhou-Wuchang in 4:54.

And a test train did it in 3:05. 4:54 is eminently feasible in service.
But the point is you are on the plane for less than 3 hours vs. almost 15 by train. You still lose 12 hours that do not necessarily be entirely occupied by sleep.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2009, 10:05 PM   #173
aab7772003
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 773
Likes (Received): 7

People in Hong Kong are simply too overwhelmed by the excitement surrounding the local high speed rail project at the moment. When they finally understand the actual high speed rail travel pattern and usage, they will stop daydreaming about taking highspeed trains to Manchuria.

Last edited by aab7772003; October 23rd, 2009 at 11:40 PM.
aab7772003 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 28th, 2009, 05:48 PM   #174
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,891
Likes (Received): 18165

Express rail link on - track to make a profit, says Cheng
23 October 2009
The Standard

Transport and Housing chief Eva Cheng Yu-wah has denied the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link will be a loss maker.

Cheng told a railways subcommittee in the Legislative Council that returns from the railway would be ``observable.''

``The railway is expected to generate benefits of HK$28.1 billion during the first 50 years of operation, with an annual return rate of 6 percent. But it will generate much higher returns if the extended benefits are included,'' the secretary for transport and housing said yesterday.

Cheng said passenger traffic is expected to reach about 99,000 in 2016 and up to 160,000 in 2031. Eighty percent of the passengers will be taking short- haul trips.

The cost of building the railway is HK$53.7 billion, with an additional HK$11.5 billion for non- rail works such as access roads and landscaping. That compares with HK$35.4 billion estimated last year.

The compensation package for about 160 villagers and landowners affected by the project is HK$2 billion.

Civic Party lawmaker Ronny Tong Ka-wah cited a study which suggested the annual return rate to be only 1 percent.

``Considering the low ticket price and the mentioned return rate, does this mean Hong Kongers will have to finance the difference?'' Tong asked.

Cheng stood her ground saying the ``observable return'' suggested there would be no difference to finance.

Others expressing doubts on profitability were Jeffery Lam Kin-fung, League of Social Democrats' Albert Chan Wai-yip and DAB lawmaker Lau Kong-wah.

Lawmakers also expressed concern at the compensation package, which some said was extremely high.

Democratic Party's Lee Wing-tat urged the government to clearly explain the payouts.

``I hope the government will give a clear explanation so that it will not give the public the wrong impression that it was aimed at gaining political support,'' he said.

Cheng explained that raising the compensation for landowners from HK$219 to HK$526 per square foot was due to the project's importance and urgency, stressing there were no political concerns.

``It is a territory-wide and tactical development project which connects Hong Kong to the mainland. Up to now, there have only been two projects at such a level,'' Cheng said.

She added two hectares of farmland will be generated from the development and the government will build a community farm.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 28th, 2009, 07:04 PM   #175
yaohua2000
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 453
Likes (Received): 7

Quote:
Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
On the existing, slow rails between Wuchang and Beijing, trains Z12 and Z38 cover the 1231 km distance in 9:56.

Which means that to beat the 14:50 time between evening and morning flight, a train must cover the 968 km HSR Guangzhou-Wuchang in 4:54.
It takes only 08h43m for train D123 from Beijing West to Hankou with 6 intermediate station. And a D-train takes about 15 minutes to travel from Hankou to Wuchang. Also consider the D-train here can only run up to 250 km/h. So the travel time of a non-stop 250 km/h D-train from Beijing West to Guangzhou South should be around 13 hours at an average speed of ~170 km/h.
yaohua2000 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 30th, 2009, 10:46 PM   #176
bluemeansgo
Registered User
 
bluemeansgo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 451
Likes (Received): 124

Fuel prices will go up. China has more options with electricity generation.

And remember, the ticket doesn't have to pay back the capital cost, it just has to pay for maintenance and running the system.

Infrastructure is a sunk cost... especially in China. This is similar to airports, really.

How is China able to run overnight sleeper trains? Are they four-tracking the system?
bluemeansgo no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old November 2nd, 2009, 04:16 PM   #177
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,891
Likes (Received): 18165

Is express link on the wrong track?
Debate rages over the cost of connecting Hong Kong to the mainland's high-speed rail network.

1 November 2009
South China Morning Post

For a person who travels frequently between Guangzhou and Hong Kong, the news that a ride on the new HK$65.2 billion cross-border express will cost just HK$180 may sound exciting.

At HK$10 less than the present through train from Hung Hom to Guangzhou - condemned by some passengers as smelly and dirty - the link is an appealing prospect even if it does terminate 45 minutes from the centre of the provincial capital of Guangdong.

But despite government trumpeting of the benefits from links to the mainland's high-speed network - the value of which, it says, transcends mere money - a hard look at the proposals raises questions about just how good a deal it is for the community that will pay for it and how many people will actually benefit from it.

To put it in perspective, with the help of Lingnan University economics professor Ho Lok-sang, the price for the most expensive high-speed railway, per kilometre, ever built anywhere in the world:

Is equivalent to more than a quarter of the government's HK$244 billion expenditure for 2009-10;

Would pay for almost six of the HK$11 billion relief packages announced by Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen in last year's policy address;

Would pay for the estimated HK$20 billion construction and operating costs of more than three West Kowloon Cultural Districts;

Is HK$15.2 billion more than the HK$50 billion committed to medical financing;

Would eat up two years of the estimated HK$30 billion revenue from a 5 per cent goods and services tax - proposed in July 2006 but dropped in the face of public opposition; and

Is equivalent to almost 15 per cent of the city's fiscal reserves of HK$459 billion.

"No one opposes closer co-operation with the mainland. But the government must lower the cost," Ho says. "Nothing can justify doing it at all costs, except the survival of the human race."

The government estimates that, over 50 years of operation, the economic benefits of the railway - mainly attributed to time savings by travellers - will amount to HK$87 billion, with 11,000 jobs at the height of construction and 10,000 longer term.

Announcing Executive Council approval for the massive undertaking, it said the link would "help reinforce Hong Kong's status as a transport, financial and commercial hub" of China by providing a high-speed shuttle service between neighbouring cities and allowing Hong Kong to "tap into the 16,000-kilometre national high-speed railway network". The government also said it was keeping the fares low to enhance benefits to the community while not worrying too much about making a profit or getting its money back - which would take about 100 years on present estimates.

And indeed, the benefits of the line, officially the Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Link, look attractive.

Apart from the HK$180 Guangzhou ride - less than a tenth of the amount some economists say would be needed to recoup the cost - it will cost HK$45 to get to Shenzhen's central business district of Futian and HK$49 to the industrial district of Longhua. Given the much higher speed and lack of commuter stops, this compares favourably with the HK$33 trip from Hung Hom to the Lo Wu border control point.

Hong Kong travellers will also be able to reach Shantou in two hours, Xiamen in four hours, Wuhan in five hours, Shanghai in eight hours and Beijing in 10.

But do all these justify a cost of almost HK$10,000 for every man, woman and child in Hong Kong?

And if they do, who will actually benefit most?

Not the two million-odd Hongkongers - 28 per cent of the population - who did not travel to the mainland once in the past five years, nor to any great extent the 4.6 million who did so occasionally.

On present travel patterns the biggest benefit will be to just 540,000 people who, according to the Planning Department's northbound-southbound 2007 study, are frequent cross-border travellers.

Of these, 18,100 travel at least once a week for work, 183,600 on business and 29,800 to visit family. The rest travel to Pearl River Delta towns for recreation.

To be fair, the government has said it expects cross-border travel to expand greatly in the coming years, with better transport and further integration between Hong Kong and Guangdong.

All things considered, Raymond So Wai-man, associate professor in Chinese University's finance department, thinks Hong Kong should build the line for one crucial reason - a lifeline to maintain its position in the mainland economy and achieve integration with Guangdong.

"If we don't build it, we will be marginalised," he says. "There is only one reason to build the railway - it is to buy a hope, a chance that we will not be marginalised."

But critics, even if they agree the line should be built, say it is too expensive and question why so much needs to be spent on the vast and expensive underground terminus in West Kowloon - almost half the total cost by some estimates.

"The government is withholding a lot of useful data from the public," said Ho of Lingnan University.

"Two sets of basic information have not been released. How many people will save journey time by making West Kowloon the terminus? How many people will have to take more time by making West Kowloon the terminus?"

West Kowloon was convenient for some people, not for everyone, he said, adding that the inconvenience of the Hung Hom terminus was one reason the present service was not more popular.

"The government has to justify why it is spending so much money while refusing to look into other options. We are not talking about the choice between high speed rail and no high speed rail. We are talking about whether we can do it more cheaply. The money we save could solve a lot of social problems."

Engineers say the main reason for the high cost is that most of the link, including the 140,000 square metre terminus, is being built underground.

One possible alternative has already been flatly rejected by the government, which says it is impracticable and its pricing unrealistic.

An engineers' organisation, Professional Commons, proposed moving the Hong Kong terminus to Kam Sheung Road in the New Territories, from where passengers could travel to the city by West Rail, cutting the overall cost of the scheme to HK$25 billion. Included in the price - proposed at a time when the government's estimate for its plan was just HK$39.5 billion - would be a line to connect Kam Sheung Road station with the Airport Express at Tsing Yi.

Group chairman Albert Lai said a Kam Sheung Road terminus would be in easy reach of 3.5 million people, including New Territories residents.

"The beauty of a city-centre terminus in West Kowloon is only a mirage. The planning constraints we have created in the past will make the terminus costly to build and inconvenient to use. Worse still, the over-congestion it generates will be many times worse than what Times Square has done to Causeway Bay. Planning disasters like these are simply irreversible once built," Lai said.

The terminus will be a state-of-the-art structure, with three levels all below ground. The 26 kilometre link that runs from it will pass through twin tunnels and under Golden Hill, Tai Mo Shan and Kai Kung Leng hills.

Even though he thinks the line should be built, So distrusts the government's projected employment benefits and economic returns, which also include an economic rate of return - calculated by putting a dollar value on time savings - of 6 per cent and annual operating profit of about HK$600 million.

"It is reasonable to discount what the government proclaims. The economic returns you can discount by half. And the employment, 10,000 jobs, is, I think, including the employment created by the West Kowloon Cultural District. If it doesn't paint a rosy picture, how can [the government] convince people to support it?" To recoup the cost, he says, the fare would have to be HK$2,000 per journey.

Those who mistrust government projections can point to Disneyland where the figures have, to put it unkindly, proved to be Mickey Mouse.

The HK$21 billion deal between the government and the Walt Disney Company was predicted to boost the economy by HK$148 billion over 40 years, eight times the total cost. The then chief executive Tung Chee-hwa called it a vote of confidence in the city and its future.

The reality is very different. Only about five million people visited the park in 2005, its first year of operation, short of the 5.6 million target. Ten years after the deal was signed, the government now says Disneyland will bring HK$64.7 billion in net economic benefits over 40 years.

The 140 kilometre link from West Kowloon to Shibi in the satellite city of Panyu includes intermediate stations at Futian and Longhua in Shenzhen, and Humen in Dongguan . Two stations - Gongming in Dongguan and Dongcong in Panyu - will be added later.

It will take just 48 minutes to reach Shibi from West Kowloon, but passengers whose destination is Guangzhou's business district of Tianhe will have to transit to the metro and ride another 18 stops.

Construction is due to start by the end of this year and be completed in 2015.

One reason for the government's desire to get started is that it is lagging behind the mainland side, with the Panyu terminus expected to be completed early next year. Hong Kong's late start has prompted taunts from across the border about the city being half-hearted towards the link.

Professor Zheng Tianxiang , a transport specialist at Guangzhou's Sun Yat-sen University and a strong advocate of closer cross-border co-operation, was thrilled by the news that the project had been approved.

"It will be very convenient in the future," he said after watching the news on television. He said Hongkongers would be able to go to Zhuhai and Nansha by rail. "Railway transport is more reliable [than ferries or coaches]. It will be not affected by bad weather, such as typhoons."

But Zheng thinks the express will eventually sound the death knell for the through train.

"The through train looks ridiculously expensive now. Unless it cuts prices, it is not going to survive. But it is not going to cut prices because otherwise, the passengers will not go to the high speed rail. The move is so obvious - the Hong Kong government wants to boost the high speed rail's popularity." he said.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old November 3rd, 2009, 04:38 PM   #178
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,891
Likes (Received): 18165

Engineers to be consulted over HK$65b rail link
22 October 2009
SCMP

Lawmakers will consider the views of an engineers' group that has called for cost-slashing changes to the planned cross-border express rail link before deciding whether to approve funding for the HK$65.2 billion project

The Legislative Council's railway subcommittee will meet today to discuss the final design for the project and the latest estimate - a 65 per cent blowout from the original HK$39.5 billion - which is set to provide an annual financial return of just one per cent.

Professional Commons, the engineers' group which says billions of dollars could be saved if the terminus was moved from West Kowloon to Kam Sheung Road in the New Territories, has asked to be heard before lawmakers vote on the project.

Civic Party legislator Ronny Tong Ka-wah said he would raise the request at today's meeting, adding that lawmakers should not give approval easily before considering the group's proposal.

"We should find out why the terminus and alignment cannot be changed," Tong said. He said moving the terminus would halve the cost and the village of Tsoi Yuen Chuen, where residents are opposing plans to remove them to make way for a depot, would be saved.

The Transport and Housing Bureau has said the group's proposal would involve even more land clearance than the present plan and the cost was likely to be much higher than the HK$25 billion the engineers estimated.

The rise in the link's cost has not only pushed down the economic rate of return - calculated by putting a dollar value on time savings - from nine per cent to six per cent, but it will take the government 100 years to recover the cost, given an expected annual profit of about HK$600 million a year.

The MTR usually requires a financial rate of return on its new railway projects of between 1 to 3 per cent after deducting investment and operational costs.

The administration has never calculated this figure but the expected annual profit against the total capital cost of HK$65.2 billion works out to less than 1 per cent.

A government official said the project was obviously not commercially viable, which was why a service-concession approach was adopted, with the government paying for and owning the line while the MTR Corporation operated it.

The compensation package for villagers affected by the project has also turned out to be much higher than expected.

The government said on Tuesday that spending on compensation cost HK$86 million but it was disclosed yesterday that this did not include a special HK$2 billion compensation package for land owners.

Secretary for Transport and Housing Eva Cheng said the unusually generous compensation offer was justified because of the link's importance. "It is a multi-functional railway," she said. "It takes you quickly and conveniently to 16 major cities on the mainland. It will reshape travel patterns, with choosing the environmentally-friendly link over short-haul flights."

Cheng reiterated that the link was intended to be profitable and that the economic benefits it would bring to the community in areas such as tourism were incalculable.

When the link starts service in 2016, it will take 14 minutes and cost HK$45 and HK$49 to Futian and Longhua in Shenzhen, while a trip to Shibi in Guangzhou will take 42 minutes and cost HK$180.

With these fares, the link is expected to hit hard the existing MTR through train to Guangzhou, which costs HK$190 for an almost two-hour journey, and also cross-border buses, which have similar fares but are much slower.

Sammy Chow Hing-wong, chairman of the Hong Kong Guangdong Boundary Crossing Bus Association, said up to 70 per cent of the companies now operating bus trips to Guangzhou may be wiped out.

"Competition is out of the question - a bus trip from Jordan to Guangzhou takes three and a half hours, so businessmen will surely switch to rail."

Government figures project that most cross-border transport services will still enjoy growth by 2016 - especially cross-border buses, for which officials expect patronage to rise by 6.6 per cent, with more people crossing the border.

But Chow doubted this.

"First, I don't believe the number of people going across the border will bounce so much in eight years. Second, if there is an increase in commuters, the growth will go mostly to the rail link," he said.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old November 3rd, 2009, 08:41 PM   #179
urbanfan89
Registered User
 
urbanfan89's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,502
Likes (Received): 67

The issue of immigration is still the biggest stumbling block to this line: if we have Chinese customs pre-clearance in the Hong Kong terminal, would mainland law apply in the terminal?

If so, it will be a PR disaster for Hong Kong if, say, a North Korean defector arrives in West Kowloon and is immediately deported to China and North Korea where he is sent to a gulag. If not, the terminal will become a magnet for all sorts of people who can travel to West Kowloon without restrictions and then claim asylum, which would be another PR disaster.

On the other hand, not having China immigration at the terminal will limit the variety of destinations served from WKT, which will reduce the effetiveness of the line.
urbanfan89 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old November 4th, 2009, 07:36 PM   #180
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,891
Likes (Received): 18165

Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanfan89 View Post
The issue of immigration is still the biggest stumbling block to this line: if we have Chinese customs pre-clearance in the Hong Kong terminal, would mainland law apply in the terminal?

If so, it will be a PR disaster for Hong Kong if, say, a North Korean defector arrives in West Kowloon and is immediately deported to China and North Korea where he is sent to a gulag. If not, the terminal will become a magnet for all sorts of people who can travel to West Kowloon without restrictions and then claim asylum, which would be another PR disaster.

On the other hand, not having China immigration at the terminal will limit the variety of destinations served from WKT, which will reduce the effetiveness of the line.
Good points.

I'm thinking whether passengers leaving the mainland will need to clear immigration in China first instead?

Illegal immigration from China isn't so much of a problem these days. On the other hand, we are seeing an increased number of South Asian illegals coming in, many by boat. I believe Hong Kong law allows them to work while they make an asylum claim.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote


Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Related topics on SkyscraperCity


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 06:15 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

SkyscraperCity ☆ In Urbanity We trust ☆ about us | privacy policy | DMCA policy

tech management by Sysprosium