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Old October 11th, 2010, 09:24 AM   #221
K_
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Originally Posted by MarcVD View Post
Containerships are slow and subject to piracy.
Not really. The vast majority of container ships never get anywhere near a pirate. What piracy that exists, only exists because we haven't the guts to deal with them.


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And electric trains do run on nuclear energy, today. Not like your
container vessels, which only do in some science-fiction scenario.
I'ts not science fiction. Nuclear powered ships do exist now. In fact, the most common type of nuclear power reactor, the Presurized Water Reactor (of which Belgium has a few too) was originally designed to be used in ships. The reaons their use is not widespread is simply because of economics. If oil becomes to expensive that will change.

Quote:
I don't want to see a nuclear-powered vessel hijacked by a gang of
somalian tribal warriors. Be it voluntarily or by co-incidence, it can
only lead to a major disaster.
That can happen with any ship. Put a nuclear reactor in any random container vessel and the reactor will still not be the object on board with the largest potential for environmental mayhem.

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unless you expect any such ship to be permanently escorted by a US Navy
frigate and a few Marines platoons ?
Or we just let an Israeli company operate the ship.
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Old October 11th, 2010, 11:44 AM   #222
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Quote:
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The whole Trans-Siberian has been electrified, and this is in oil-rich Russia.
+10

China is building Lanzhou West – Urumqi high speed rail: 1776 km.

Total Distance from Beijing to Urumqi: 3460 km.

Plus, the ships from China to Europe take a long, long route. Which would be much cheaper and faster by 100-160km/h electric freight trains.
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Old October 11th, 2010, 01:44 PM   #223
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Plus, the ships from China to Europe take a long, long route. Which would be much cheaper and faster by 100-160km/h electric freight trains.
Faster but not cheaper. Ships in fluid have the advantage that they spend no energy at all to be stationary, and the resistance falls to very low levels at low speeds. Trains will save on air resistance at low speedś, but still suffer from rolling resistance.

China is speeding up freight trains as well. Up to 120 km/h on old railways. Compare that with the ordinary freight speeds of 1000 km per day on Transsiberian!
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Old October 11th, 2010, 08:29 PM   #224
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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
Not really. The vast majority of container ships never get anywhere near a pirate. What piracy that exists, only exists because we haven't the guts to deal with them.
Sure. But you can't deny that it exists.

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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
I'ts not science fiction. Nuclear powered ships do exist now.
As far as I know, only with vessels operated by armed forces, and only by
a very limited list of countries - how much exactly I don't know but certainly
less than 10. I don't see, and I don't want to see, a nuclear vessel operated
by your typical philippino crew.

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_ View Post
That can happen with any ship. Put a nuclear reactor in any random container vessel and the reactor will still not be the object on board with the largest potential for environmental mayhem.
I'm not expecting environmental accidents. I'm expecting deliberate mis-use
of the nuclear material that can be taken out of the reactor. There are hordes
of terrorists around the globe that dream to be able, one day, to put their
hands on that.
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Old October 11th, 2010, 11:13 PM   #225
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I don't see, and I don't want to see, a nuclear vessel operated by your typical philippino crew.
And that is indeed one of the main reasons why we don't see commercial nuclear vessels at the moment. The Savannah had serious labor problems, as the deck officers wouldn't accept that the engineers were better paid than they were.
Currently labor is one of the biggest costs in shipping. That can change if energy costs change.


Quote:
I'm not expecting environmental accidents. I'm expecting deliberate mis-use
of the nuclear material that can be taken out of the reactor. There are hordes
of terrorists around the globe that dream to be able, one day, to put their
hands on that.
There aren't "hordes of terrorists" on the globe. That's something Bush made up. Terrorists are actually very rare, and those that exist aren't very competent either. And if you really want to cause mayhem nuclear material isn't even the best choice. You can create a nice panic with nuclear material, that is true (thanks to Greenpeace) but you can't really cause a lot of damage.
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Old October 12th, 2010, 12:29 AM   #226
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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
And if you really want to cause mayhem nuclear material isn't even the best choice. You can create a nice panic with nuclear material, that is true (thanks to Greenpeace) but you can't really cause a lot of damage.
That, I think, is untrue. Even if you don't take into account the radiation
stuff, most of the chemicals that you can find in nuclear waste coming from
reactors is extremely poisonous. You could, for example, cause massive
deaths by contaminating a city water distribution system, this is extremely
easy to do, and as the automatic detection systems do not look after that
kind of contamination (they rather look for biological stuff) it would remain
unnoticed until the first effects come out.
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Old October 12th, 2010, 12:58 AM   #227
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That, I think, is untrue. Even if you don't take into account the radiation
stuff, most of the chemicals that you can find in nuclear waste coming from
reactors is extremely poisonous.
There's one famous case of a nuclear scientist betting with a environmentalist that he would swallow one gram of plutonium for each gram of caffeine the other would swallow. The bet wasn't taken.
Radioactive isotopes are less dangerous than many chemicals. And radioctive elements are easily detected, so much that they even get added to toxic chemicals to make detecting spills easier.

Quote:
You could, for example, cause massive
deaths by contaminating a city water distribution system, this is extremely
easy to do, and as the automatic detection systems do not look after that
kind of contamination (they rather look for biological stuff) it would remain
unnoticed until the first effects come out.
If it's so easy why doesn't it happen then?

Truth is, that it isn't easy. I did the math once. You'll need trainloads of poisons before you start to affect the death rate enough that people will notice.
The few cases terrorist have been able to get their hands on radioactive stuff they have ended up killing themselves...
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Old October 12th, 2010, 01:53 AM   #228
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this is totally off topic
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Old October 12th, 2010, 06:33 AM   #229
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Construction on railway conecting China, Laos to begin in late October
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BEIJING, China — A state news agency says construction will start this month on a railway from southern China to Laos, further connecting the country with its Southeast Asian neighbours.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported Friday that the 530-kilometre railway will connect Xishuangbanna city in the southern province of Yunnan to Vientiane, the capital of Laos. Work is expected to begin Oct. 28.

The project is part of the Trans-Asian Railway network, which is expected to pass through 28 countries in Asia, the report said, including Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/can...?docId=4775646
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Old October 12th, 2010, 06:42 AM   #230
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Russian freight operator opens branches in Urals and Kazkh-Chinese border
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Railway bridge on the Trans-Siberian across the Kama River near Perm

Trans Siberian Express Service Ltd.(TSES), the Russian common carrier, acquired by InterRail Hoilding in June this year, has established a sales office in the Urals industrial city of Chelyabinsk and in August began operating at Kazakh-Chinese railway hub of Dostyk. TSES business is containerized and conventional rail freight between Asia, the C.I.S. countries and Europe.

The Dostyk branch belongs to the Kazakh subsidiary of TSES and is headed by Kurvanzhan Saidullayev.

“Thanks to our immediate presence at one of the most important border crossings in Central Asia, we are able to expand the scope of our services and transport relations and further improve the quality of our services. Any arising queries can be handled strategically and can be solved quickly”, says TSES Director Howard Lamb, referring to this new commitment and the important advantages for our clients.

To date, Dostyk is the only railway crossing between Kazakhstan and China. Together with the Chinese border town of Alashankou, the Kazakh checkpoint represents an efficient and universal transshipment facility between the C.I.S. railway system with its track width of 1520 mm and the Chinese railway system with the normal European track width of 1435 mm. Hans Reinhard, CEO of the InterRail Holding AG, underlines that „Its significance is greater than the advantages mentioned. Dostyk has a unique potential and is already turning into an important centerpiece of the traditional Silk Road, a ‘bridge’ between China and Europe”. He gathers that, “by tapping more and more into the Northern and North-Western regions of China and through the customs union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, the attention of European customers will increasingly be drawn towards the time advantages of the Dostyk land bridge”.

The complex development of Dostyk is a key element in safeguarding international transport via the main Trans-Asian railway connection. This railway checkpoint became operational in the early 1990s and has continuously increased ever since. The current forecast for 2014 is that a total volume of goods of 23 million tons per annum will cross the border at Dostyk-Alashankou. The new office in Dostyk is part of a stronger customer-oriented market strategy of the Company. This includes the further development of the sales network.

TSES is now also further represented in the industrial zone of the Ural Region in Chelyabinsk (RF). “In the long term, we want to develop Chelyabinsk into a meeting forum for transport between Europe and the Far East in order to optimize and further shape the container management in the Eurasian transport”, is how CEO Reinhard envisages the potential of this new commitment.

Brief information on InterRail and TSES:

The InterRail Group with its headquarters in St. Gallen, Switzerland, is a leading European service enterprise specialized in rail based transport logistics. The product portfolio also comprises the brokering of rail freight services and intermodal transportation in the CIS, Iran, Central Asia, China, and Europe. InterRail is a sub-holding of the Swiss TransInvest Company.

Trans Siberian Express Service ltd. TSES was founded in 1991 and belongs to the InterRail Group since 10 June 2010. In addition to the above two new locations, TSES has offices in Moscow (headquarters), Ekaterinburg, St. Petersburg, Vostochny, Tashkent and Almaty. The focus of its business is containerized and conventional rail freight between Asia, the C.I.S. countries and Europe.
http://www.bsr-russia.com/en/transpo...se-border.html
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Old October 15th, 2010, 01:02 AM   #231
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Originally Posted by K_ View Post
There's one famous case of a nuclear scientist betting with a environmentalist that he would swallow one gram of plutonium for each gram of caffeine the other would swallow. The bet wasn't taken.
Radioactive isotopes are less dangerous than many chemicals. And radioctive elements are easily detected, so much that they even get added to toxic chemicals to make detecting spills easier.

If it's so easy why doesn't it happen then?

Truth is, that it isn't easy. I did the math once. You'll need trainloads of poisons before you start to affect the death rate enough that people will notice.
The few cases terrorist have been able to get their hands on radioactive stuff they have ended up killing themselves...
10 mg per person... or how to kill 100.000 people with 1 kg of material.
Source (sorry, it's in french) :
http://www.irsn.fr/FR/Larecherche/In...ucleide-Pu.pdf
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Old October 26th, 2010, 01:25 PM   #232
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Cambodia Takes First Step in Connecting Regional Railways
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Trains have started running on a stretch of Cambodia's once-defunct railway. The news marks the first time in years that trains have run commercially in the country, and moves the dream of a pan-Asian railway much closer.

Decades of conflict shattered Cambodia's infrastructure - its roads, ports and railways.

In recent years some of those assets have been rebuilt, and last Friday at Phnom Penh's railway station, the finance minister presided over a ceremony to mark the resumption of the rail service.

Rebuilding Cambodia's infrastructure

Cambodia's rail network has long been the missing link in the dream to connect Singapore by rail to Vietnam and China, and ultimately to Europe.

War and neglect meant that what remained of Cambodia's 600 kilometers of rail system was in such poor condition that the last rackety trains were reduced to crawling along buckled tracks at 5 kilometers an hour.

Rebuilding the network will cost $142 million, the bulk of that financed with a loan from the Asian Development Bank. Much of the rest is funded by the Australian government and Phnom Penh.

Putu Kamayana is the ADB's country head in Cambodia.

He predicts that Cambodia's decision to award a 30-year railway concession to an Australian company, Toll Holdings, will pay long-term dividends in more areas than just rail services.

"That's a very big step and a very bold step by the government, but certainly by also improving the transport infrastructure it will improve ultimately Cambodia's competitiveness in the global economy and promote foreign direct investment into Cambodia," Putu Kamayana said.

Last Wednesday, Toll's local subsidiary, Toll Royal Railway, took journalists on a refurbished passenger train from Phnom Penh to the town of Takeo, some 50 kilometers south of the capital.

Toll Royal Railway Chief Executive David Kerr was on the trip.

Currently most of Cambodia's freight moves by road. Kerr makes it clear the new rail service will aim to take freight off the roads and put it on the less polluting rail network.

"There's certainly a train a day in cement alone, so there's a significant amount of cement in Cambodia. And then linking in with the ship calls - the feeder services to China, America and via Singapore. And so we'll develop our strategies in cooperation with the shipping lines to develop that service," Kerr says, "There's large volumes of salt that move through Cambodia, as well as domestic and export rice, as well as sugar cane.

One benefit will be that the country's roads will likely become safer and last longer. And Kerr says the rail service has already cut road freight rates by one-fifth.

But since freight is where the money is, regular passenger services might not ever resume.

Upgrade to a passenger service

Toll's first step was to improve a 110-kilometer stretch of track that runs south of the capital to the town of Touk Meas. That is the stretch that opened last week. The next piece of track, running 140 kilometers from Touk Meas to Sihanoukville port, is slated for completion in May.
A train moves out of Phnom Penh along the refurbished line running south to the town of Touk Meas in late October. The homes of people living alongside the track will be demolished in due course.
VOA - Robert Carmichael
A train moves out of Phnom Penh along the refurbished line running south to the town of Touk Meas in late October. The homes of people living alongside the track will be demolished in due course.

Once that is done, Toll will start to upgrade the 390 kilometers of line that runs west out of Phnom Penh via Battambang before entering Thailand. That is to be done in 2012.

After that the only gap on the pan-Asian railway will be the section between Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam. The two governments have agreed to construct the link, but work has not yet started.

Any large infrastructure project generates winners and losers. Here the losers include the local entrepreneurs who run informal railway services on short stretches of the buckled line in western Cambodia.

Their machines are known as norries, or flying carpets, and are easily visualized - think of a large bamboo bed laid on top of two sets of steel wheels.

Passengers sit on this bamboo bed with their luggage. There are no seats and no sides, and the flying carpet, powered by a small engine, can scurry along the line at 40 kilometers an hour.

It takes only one minute to disassemble a flying carpet. That is just as well since when two of them meet on this single track, etiquette demands that the driver carrying the lighter load dismantle his flying carpet to let the heavier vehicle pass.

Prak Phea has worked this stretch outside Pursat town, about 200 kilometers northwest of Phnom Penh, for 16 years, and earns up to $50 a week. He knows about the rail upgrade, but has not yet decided what he will do next year for work.

The rules of the infrastructure upgrade mean that anyone affected must be compensated. An annoyed Prak Phea says most of the norrie drivers in other towns were paid $250 each, but just four of the 15 on his stretch of line got anything since they were not told when or how to register.

He says that when people came to register them, he was in Pursat. So he missed the chance and did not register, and that means he will not get compensated.

The ADB's Putu Kamayana promises the bank will take that up with the government.

For the next 12 months, however, Prak Phea can carry on earning a living on this battered stretch of line.

But as surely as the whistles of the freight trains leaving Phnom Penh signal the rebirth of a proper rail service for Cambodia, they also sound the death knell for two decades of flying carpets.
http://www.voanews.com/english/news/...105662543.html
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Old October 29th, 2010, 04:28 PM   #233
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TRANSCONTINENTAL | Railway Development

Bulgarian Transport Ministry announced that China had officially invites bulgaria to join high-speed Asia-Europe Rail with Turkey.

China is in negotiations with 17 countries to build a high-speed rail network to Europe.

Additional rail lines will also be built into South East Asia as well as Russia, in what will likely become the largest infrastructure project in history.

Thailand and China have agreed to proceed with rail connections that will connect the two countries through neighboring Laos and linking to Thailand-Malaysian border.

according to Chinese media, High-speed link with Iran, Pakistan and India are already in the process of negotiations, China and Russia had achieved agreement to built a high speed railway link through siberia.

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.ph...medium=twitter

Quote:
China Invites Bulgaria to Join High-Speed Asia-Europe Rail with Turkey



A map of the northern China to Europe rail routes via Kazakhstan and Russia. China appears interested in developing a southern route as well, inviting Turkey and Bulgaria to join in it. Map by nigelnixon.com

China has formally invited Bulgaria to join together with Turkey a project for a high-speed railway connection from the Far East to Europe.

The invitation resulted from talks in Beijing between Bulgarian Transport Minister Alexander Tsvetkov and China's Minister of Transport Li Shenglin, Minister of Railways Liu Zhijun, and leading Chinese railway companies, the press service of the Bulgarian Transport Ministry announced.

The Ministry said the Bulgarian government is going to take part in trilateral talks with China and Turkey on the high-speed China-Europe rail. After that, in December 2010, the three countries are expected to sign a trilateral cooperation agreement on freight rail services.

The transport authorities of Bulgaria and China have also decided to set up a bilateral contact group "because there is a strong interest on part of China," the Transport Ministry announced.

Tsvetkov also presented Bulgaria as a destination for investments in transport infrastructure to journalists from Radio China, Radio Beijing, and the English-language paper Economy Daily News.

The news about China's luring Bulgaria into the high-speed Asia-Europe rail project comes after on Wednesday Tsvetkov invited his counterpart Li Shenglin on part of the People's Republic of China to consider investment opportunities in the field of transport and infrastructure.

Bulgaria and China are considering setting up a joint venture for sea port infrastructure as well as offering concessions of Bulgarian sea and river ports to Chinese companies.

"China is a first-rate partner of Bulgaria. Bulgaria is in the position to offer maximum good conditions to port operators. We believe that the Bulgarian ports can be attractive enough to compete with the routes of Central and Eastern Asia," Tsvetkov told Li Shenglin, as cited by the press service of the Transport Ministry.

The visit of the Bulgarian government delegation in China comes in the wake of several months of intensive contacts between the Bulgarian government and Chinese central and provincial authorities as well as companies on various potential joint projects such as the Bozhurishte Industrial Zone near Sofia.

Bulgaria's Economy Minister Traicho Traikov has stated several times that China was interest in receiving concessions over Bulgarian airport and ports in order to use them as a base for its exports to the EU and wider Europe.

As soon as Transport Minister Tsvetkov's visit to China was first announced, the Bulgarian government made it clear it would focus on considering options for long-term cooperation between the Freight Directorate of the Bulgarian state railway company BDZ and Chinese railway operators in the context of China's project to launch a railway connection to Central and Western Europe through Central Asia, Turkey, and Bulgaria, the so called China-Europe high-speed rail link.
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Old October 29th, 2010, 04:47 PM   #234
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Bulgarian Transport Ministry announced that China had officially invites bulgaria to join high-speed Asia-Europe Rail with Turkey.
Turkey-Bulgaria? Well, that is the route of Orient Express, of course.

Does the high speed railway continue through Romania or through Serbia?
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Old October 29th, 2010, 08:39 PM   #235
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Does the high speed railway continue through Romania or through Serbia?
Nothing is sure yet, all this is pretty new. Bulgaria had intended to build a rather fast conventional route from Sofia to Vidin which should then use the bridge under construction there to Western Romania and continue via Timisoara to Budapest, all of this at speeds around 160 kmh. But a Chinese loan or joint venture opens completely new perspectives, and the main question is whether China can conclude a deal with Serbia or Romania. Serbia is geographically most interesting as it provides the shortest and least mountaineous way to Central Europe, and a lot of possible connecting routes. However, Serbian Railways and the Serbian state are maybe not yet ready to properly deal with such a potential investment. Romania is at the moment more organized and has begun to invest into its major rail transit routes, therefore it might make the grade despite the geographic drawbacks.
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Old October 29th, 2010, 11:28 PM   #236
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This is getting really serious. I am starting to believe, one day I may travel from Istanbul to Beijing in a high speed train. It will be huge.
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Old October 29th, 2010, 11:49 PM   #237
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This is getting really serious. I am starting to believe, one day I may travel from Istanbul to Beijing in a high speed train. It will be huge.
Wrong direction. Involving Bulgaria rather means Paris-Istanbul-Bejing. That is what Orient Express means....
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Old October 30th, 2010, 12:40 AM   #238
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Wrong direction. Involving Bulgaria rather means Paris-Istanbul-Bejing. That is what Orient Express means....
Through Iran Afghanistan and Pakistan? No thanks.
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Old October 30th, 2010, 12:47 AM   #239
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Through Iran Afghanistan and Pakistan? No thanks.
Iran is generally necessary - Turkey through Caucasus tho Russia would mean a big detour - but Afghanistan is not. Instead, you may travel through Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, perhaps with shortcut through Uzbekistan. Neither is Afghanistan needed to reach Pakistan because there is a railway between Iran and Pakistan.
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Old October 30th, 2010, 05:34 AM   #240
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the original plan published by European media, runs through China-Kazakhstan-Russia-Ukraine-Belrus to Poland, linking with west europe high speed network, but recently Chinese media reported a new line, from China-Kazakhstan-Uzbekistan-Turkuministan-Iran-Turkey-Bulgaria via the Balkans to link with central europe.
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