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Old September 7th, 2014, 12:03 PM   #301
nachalnik
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Does the Hamburg - Zhengzhou train go via Dostyk (KZ)/Alashankou (CN)?
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Old September 8th, 2014, 07:01 PM   #302
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Map credit: DB Schenker
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Old September 8th, 2014, 09:03 PM   #303
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del (sorry for spamming )
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Old September 8th, 2014, 09:22 PM   #304
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Why is the line through Mongolia not also shown on the map ? It's at least as important as
the two other ones, after all... I don't believe that the khazak border station with China,
where gauge change occurs, has that much processing capacity.
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Old September 8th, 2014, 10:41 PM   #305
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Why is the line through Mongolia not also shown on the map ?
That's exactly what I asked, but then deleted. Probably because (like Ukraine) it's not in a customs union either with Russia or China (unlike Kazakhstan).
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Old September 21st, 2014, 04:48 PM   #306
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From Railway Gazette:

Quote:
http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/f...ock-train.html

DHL launches Suzhou – Warszawa block train
21 Sep 2014



INTERNATIONAL: DHL Global Forwarding has launched a scheduled weekly intermodal service from Suzhou in China to Warszawa in Poland, with a journey time of around 14 days. The company says the block train running via the Trans-Siberian route ‘takes half the time of ocean freight and is a sixth of the cost of air freight’.

The new service is in addition to DHL’s daily single-wagon service from Shanghai to Europe via the Trans-Siberian route, and its weekly block train from Chengdu to Europe via the western corridor through Kazakhstan. To complement the full–container services branded DHL Railline, DHL has also introduced a less-than-container-load option branded DHL Railconnect

...
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Old September 21st, 2014, 05:29 PM   #307
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And how much more expensive is this going to be in comparison to sea transport?
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Old September 22nd, 2014, 08:34 PM   #308
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For some types of freight speed is more important than price.
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Old September 24th, 2014, 12:43 AM   #309
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Quote:
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For some types of freight speed is more important than price.
This is true. To find the right customers they need to market it somewhere between air and sea. Air is obviously expensive, but gets there in about 2 days, which is good but not everything needs to get there that quickly. Sea on the other hand is cheap and a good way of moving heavy stuff. However it can take two months, which means any company with a factory in China and selling in Europe has about 2 months worth of stock at sea at any time. Bringing this down to 2 weeks could be a massive saving, especially in bringing new products to market or any changes in production.
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Old September 24th, 2014, 01:56 AM   #310
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How is russian plans on upgrading the transsib to compete with freight ships going?

Imagine american style, several miles long trains going from China to Europe via Russia instead of ships that can get hijacked and whatnot.
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Old September 24th, 2014, 08:51 AM   #311
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If rail freight over this route takes off upgrading the line is a no brainer. Upgrading a line is much easier then building it in the first place.

Also imagine american style, several miles long trains going from China to the USA via Russia and Canada instead of ships. There appear to be serious plans for a crossing spanning the Bering Strait. Beijng to Seattle by train in just a few days.
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Old September 24th, 2014, 08:52 AM   #312
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...
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Last edited by M-NL; September 24th, 2014 at 08:53 AM. Reason: Same post appeared twice?!?
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Old September 24th, 2014, 08:57 AM   #313
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-NL View Post
There appear to be serious plans for a crossing spanning the Bering Strait.
To say these plans are serious is a little misleading.

Every so often the media reminds itself of the idea of a railway connection across the Bering Strait but it's hardly a project that's going to kick-off anytime soon.
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Old September 24th, 2014, 08:47 PM   #314
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Originally Posted by TedStriker View Post
To say these plans are serious is a little misleading.

Every so often the media reminds itself of the idea of a railway connection across the Bering Strait but it's hardly a project that's going to kick-off anytime soon.
People often compare the idea to the Channel Tunnel. Considering the Channel Tunnel barely breaks even when it connects three huge cities in just over two hours, carries car and freight traffic over possibly the busiest border crossing, I don't think connecting two points in the middle of nowhere is going to work.

More likely is a crossing of the Gibraltar Straight, even though the lack of onward connections mean you would only really connect Morocco to Europe and not the whole of Africa.
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Old September 25th, 2014, 03:32 AM   #315
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The Transsiberian is generally in a good condition. Upgrades are not really necessary for freight trains.
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Old September 26th, 2014, 04:53 PM   #316
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stainless View Post
People often compare the idea to the Channel Tunnel. Considering the Channel Tunnel barely breaks even when it connects three huge cities in just over two hours, carries car and freight traffic over possibly the busiest border crossing, I don't think connecting two points in the middle of nowhere is going to work.

More likely is a crossing of the Gibraltar Straight, even though the lack of onward connections mean you would only really connect Morocco to Europe and not the whole of Africa.
I think most europeans would say thanks but no thanks to the hoards of illegal immigrants trying to get into the EU.
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Old September 26th, 2014, 07:25 PM   #317
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1772 View Post
I think most europeans would say thanks but no thanks to the hoards of illegal immigrants trying to get into the EU.
Doing it by train would be no easier than by plane and no one is calling for stopping flights from Africa.
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Old September 26th, 2014, 09:12 PM   #318
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-NL View Post
If rail freight over this route takes off upgrading the line is a no brainer. Upgrading a line is much easier then building it in the first place.

Also imagine american style, several miles long trains going from China to the USA via Russia and Canada instead of ships. There appear to be serious plans for a crossing spanning the Bering Strait. Beijng to Seattle by train in just a few days.
Russian trains are already long, even if there still some room for improvement.
And Bering Strait tunel is just madness - there is no railways on either side!
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Old January 5th, 2016, 02:12 AM   #319
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China-Europe fast rail brings mutual benefit

http://www.ecns.cn/2016/01-02/194442.shtml

Trains made nearly 180 round trips between Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province and Lodz, Poland, in the last two and a half years.

Since 2013, three trains a week have made the 9,826 kilometer trip on the Chengdu-Europe fast rail, reaching Poland via Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus.

"Commodities are transported to Europe within 15 days," said Xu Pingfu, vice director of the Chengdu logistics office. "It is the fastest freight railway between China and Europe."

Around 300 trains will ply the route in 2016, which will extend to Hamburg in Germany and Tilburg in the Netherlands. Commodities from coastal cities like Shanghai, Shenzhen and Xiamen are transported to Chengdu and from there to Europe because of the line's low cost and high reliability.

"The price of transporting commodities on the Chengdu-Europe line is one fifth of the air freight cost, and it is three times faster than shipping," said Xu.

Chengdu will spend a total of 1.9 billion yuan (300 million US dollars) in the next three years building China's largest international railway port, said Chen Zhongwei, director of Chengdu logistics office.

Many leading exporters are considering moving to Chengdu for these reasons, according to Chen.

"We aim to be the pivot between Europe and Pan-Asia by building international railways and establishing a European commodity distribution center in the next three years," Chen said.
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Old January 14th, 2016, 02:33 AM   #320
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Can China Fix Central Asia's Soviet Rail Legacy?

Can China Fix Central Asia's Soviet Rail Legacy?

Soviet infrastructure linked the region only to Moscow, will Chinese infrastructure start connecting it to the world?

http://thediplomat.com/2016/01/can-c...t-rail-legacy/


Steam locomotive ТЭ-5200 of the Soviet Railway Administration in the Museum of Rail Transport in Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Image Credit: Toothswung via Wikimedia Commons

The Soviet railways system spun outward like a web from Moscow. Thousands of kilometers of broad-gauge tracks were laid in Central Asia during the Soviet period and later inherited by the newly independent states of the region. But the system was designed to serve the Russian homeland and independent Central Asia, while remaining solidly within Moscow’s sphere, has interests to the east.

Modern projects–largely funded by and intended to benefit China–are in the works but progress has been uneven.

By 1936, the Soviet Union had finished shifting the borders and composition of the Central Asian republics. With the inclusion of the former Karakalpak Autonomous Oblast into the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic in 1936, the modern map of the region took shape. The administrative divisions between the republics were not mirrored by the region’s railways. The Soviet Ministry of Railways operated regionally using four bureaus: the Alma-Ata Railway, Tselinnaya Railway, West-Kazakhstan Railway, and the Central Asian Railway. The first three covered Kazakhstan and northern Kyrgyzstan and the latter the rest of the region.


Major Soviet Railways, 1986. (Source: Library of Congress via Wikimedia Commons)

With the end of the Soviet Union, the rail systems inherited by Central Asia were cut off from their primary destination (Moscow) by a new international border and deprived of the Soviet expertise that had built and maintained them. A 2011 Crisis Group report on regional infrastructure noted that, “[t]he equipment is wearing out, the personnel retiring or dying. Post-independence regimes made little effort to maintain or replace either, and funds allocated for this purpose have largely been eaten up by corruption.”

It’s no surprise that Kazakhstan inherited the majority of the Soviet Union’s rails in the region. Kazakhstan merged the three bureaus covering its territory into one in 1997. Kazakhstan has over 14,000 kilometers of railways, followed by Uzbekistan (3,500 km), Turkmenistan (2,900 km), Tajikistan (680 km) and Kyrgyzstan (470 km)

One of the biggest problems with Central Asia’s railways is the gauge. The Soviet Union purposefully used a different gauge (1.520mm, now known as Russian gauge) than common in Europe at the time of construction and now internationally the standard (1435mm, known as Standard gauge). The result is that Soviet era railroads end at the borders of the former Soviet Union and in order to link up with other rail systems, such as Chinese (which use predominantly Standard gauge) they must undergo what is called a break-of-gauge. In order for trains, goods and passengers to continue over a change in gauge they must either be converted (there are, for example, engines and wagons designed with modular chassis systems that can be removed and replaced with a new set at the new gauge), or transloaded (transferred to a new form of transport like a truck or a different train). This adds delays and costs and can be inconvenient.

Still, the countries of Central Asia see railways as part of their larger development plans. In 2014 Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran opened a rail-link long anticipated because it connected landlocked Central Asia to the Persian Gulf. The Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan link opened the year before and led to a noticeable boost in trade. Kazakh exports to Turkmenistan doubled between 2013 and 2014, from $177 million to $353 million.

China–with its One Belt, One Road initiative–stands to benefit the most from Central Asia’s rail developments both as a destination and as a construction partner and financier. One of the snippets of news to come out of Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov’s visit to China in December was an agreement for China Railway Group to help build 22.4 km of light railways in Astana.

China has projects in the works in both Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, though the latter has been accused of delaying progress at times. In 2013, China agreed to spend $350 million on a railway tunnel in Uzbekistan. At the time bne Intellinews wrote that “[t]he tunnel will end Uzbekistan’s dependence on a Soviet-built stretch of line through Tajikistan…The existing line from the Fergana Valley, where most of Uzbekistan’s agricultural land as well as cities including Andijan, Fergana and Namanjan are located, to other parts of Uzbekistan runs through Tajikistan – a potential problem given the worsening relations between the two countries.” It was seen as the first step in connecting Uzbekistan to China and is nearing completion.

The Kyrgyz Prime Minister Temir Sariev, following his own December visit to China, said the country was developing cooperation with China in three areas: rail, roads and taking on excess Chinese production capacity. But Fozil Mashrab, writing in November, cast doubts on Kyrgyz commitment to its role in connecting Uzbekistan and China:

Despite apparent benefits as a transit country, Kyrgyzstan’s government has been slow and indecisive in implementing its part of the China–Kyrgyzstan–Uzbekistan railroad, while the country’s president, Almazbek Atambaev, keeps changing his mind on the project. In 2012, Atambaev called this railroad “the single most important infrastructure project,” which he strongly desired “to see implemented” (Azattyk.org, May 24, 2012). However, by late 2013, he reversed his position and dismissed the project as being of “little use for Kyrgyzstan itself and [solely benefitting] neighboring countries” (Azattyk.org, December 19, 2013).

A key concern is how Kyrgyzstan’s Eurasian Economic Union membership will impact its transport projects (especially rail) with China. Entry into the EEU has hit Kyrgyzstan’s formerly bustling re-export business hard and will elevate costs of transporting goods into Kyrgyzstan from China–now on the other side of both an international border and customs union. The benefits, however, will likely outweigh that concern. Kyrgyzstan, like the rest of Central Asia, needs to integrate into global markets and for a small, landlocked state, becoming a stop on China’s planned road to Europe is an opportunity not to be missed.
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